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https://bigjohncreations.wordpress.com In 1932, the American Horror Film came into its own as a viable genre. Dracula and Frankenstein had blown the doors off the industry the year before, making overnight stars of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, and paving the way for a variety of imitators. Paramount responded with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (starring Fredric March in the roles that would land him an Oscar,) and the similarly literate Island of Lost Souls, which cast Charles Laughton as HG Wells’ overly ambitious Dr. Moreau. Not to be outdone, MGM turned to their silent master of the macabre, Tod Browning, hot of the success of Dracula, to put his carnival background to use. Freaks was an unmitigated disaster and was met with as much disgust from its audiences as the studio that wrought it. But Freaks wasn’t MGM’s only contribution to the genre that year. Director William J. Cowen’s Kongo stars future Academy Award-winner, Walter Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,) as Dead Legs Flint, a cruel paraplegic living deep in the African jungle. He attains great power among the natives by performing magic tricks and pretending to be a God. 18 years earlier, Flint was crippled by his wife’s lover and has spent everyday since plotting an elaborate revenge. Released just before the production code would cast a damp towel on Hollywood, Kongo features some particularly grim scenes, and even more politically-incorrect dialogue. Originally a play on Broadway starring Huston himself, Kongo was previously made into a silent film called West of Zanzibar. This version starred Man of a Thousand Faces, Lon Chaney and was directed by none other than Chaney’s longtime collaborator, Tod Browning. Everything’s relative. For this episode of Backseat Filmmaker, I have the pleasure of discussing both versions of the story with film historian and writer, Michael H. Price. Price is the author of such works as Human Monsters: The Bizarre Psychology of Movie Villains (with George E. Turner,) and the Forgotten Horrors series, which has just seen the release of its seventh installment, Famished Monsters of Filmland.
Just to let you know, Episode 11 of 'Attaboy Clarence' is a full-length documentary podcast running to almost three hours, about sex in cinema before 1934 when The Code began to be rigidly enforced: Episode 11: SPECIAL - Sex In Monochrome The Hollywood of the 30’s and 40’s is commonly known as The Golden Age of Hollywood, a time when foundations were built, techniques refined, and legends were born, but The Golden Age was built upon the bones of another generation; a liberal, free-spirited time when Hollywood creatively defied the censors, and let its imagination run free. Sex was an integral part of film-making from the very beginning, appearing on film just a year after its inception, and remaining one of the most popular, and controversial subjects during the birth of cinema. In this special episode, we’ll take a look at some of the keystones of sex in cinema, the men and women who were the first sex symbols, and the tragic figures who were its first casualties. The sex. The lies. The films. The scandals. And the force that finally brought Hollywood to heel in the mid-thirties. http://www.attaboyclarence.com/podcast/29/4/2014/episode-11-special-sex-in-monochrome