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Baby Face - the two versions


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I rented the Baby Face DVD this week from Netflix and would say that it is the most interesting movie that I have rented thus far. I had not seen this movie before, in it's entirety, and then I discovered that the DVD had two versions on it. In addition to the theatrical release version that the public saw in 1933 there was the pre-please original version that was rejected by the New York State Board of Censors.

 

In addition to some more explicit scenes that involved sexual situations the censored version of the film also eliminated all references to the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche. I have found numerous references to the explicit scenes that were left out of the censored version but have only found token mention of the elimination of the Frederick Nietzsche references in the movie. The elimination of the Nietzsche content is as much a part of the censorship of this movie as the sexual content. I wonder why Frederick Nietzsche upset the board of censors as much as the sexual content? Of course Hitler was just hitting his stride at this time but I wouldn't think this would have concerned the censors enough to make such an effort to eliminate it from the movie.

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Hi Stephen. :)

 

It's been a long while since I've watched the uncensored *Baby Face*, but I have a vague memory of the Nietzsche part being presented in the movie to sort of accompany a point about female empowerment, in order to dominate men. Since you've just seen you'll probably remember it much better. Maybe that is what scared the censors? I don't think his being German would have had much to do with it, but I could be wrong.

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>I have a vague memory of the Nietzsche part being presented in the movie to sort of accompany a point about female empowerment, in order to dominate men.

 

Ah, female empowerment. Now that's something that the public must not be exposed to.

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> {quote:title=Stephen444 wrote:}{quote}

> >I have a vague memory of the Nietzsche part being presented in the movie to sort of accompany a point about female empowerment, in order to dominate men.

>

> Ah, female empowerment. Now that's something that the public must not be exposed to.

 

Yes, Heaven forbid! ;)

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>http://blog.gnumatt.org/archives/2007/7/8/the_propatriarchy_censorship_of_the/

 

This is the best review that I have read on Baby Face. Thanks Marian.

 

Fred, I didn't know what to make of your comment about Leopold and Leob until I read the link. Wow, what a connection. It just goes to show how everything happening in the world at a particular time is usually connected.

 

Another far flung connection that I was thinking about was the relationship of Ann Rand's philosophy and that of nietze...the individual being responsible for what happens to themselves. And then Barbara Stanwick wanting to play the part of Dominique Francon in "The Fountainhead" (based on Rand's book)

 

Message was edited by: Stephen444

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Stephan,

 

The original version of *Baby Face* was released months before the Production Code took affect in Hollywood in 1934.

 

That version played around the country.

 

When the Hays Code?Production Code took affect in 1934, it finally had the teeth in it to put an end to movies like *Baby Face*. That's why those films are called pre-code. They were made and released before the Code took affect effectively killing off that kind of story telling.

 

When *Baby Face* was re-released a few years later on the lower part of the double bill fare, it had to be re-edited in order to get clearance by the Hays Office. The negative was recut and previous versions were destroyed.

 

The edited version eliminated much of the story line of Stanwyck's character's rise up the corporate ladder as well as completely changing the scene on Christmas Eve with the book and the ending of the film.

 

The original version was considered lost for many, many years. A few years ago, a complete version of the original release was discovered in mismarked cans in the Library of Congress' film vault.

 

The original release was restored, premiered on TCM and was part of the first *Forbidden Hollywood* collection.

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>Izcutter said....The original version of Baby Face was released months before the Production Code took affect in Hollywood in 1934.

 

 

From FilmBuffOnLine....

 

Since no standardized ratings system existed at the time, every film was screened by state and often also local film boards who would rule whether or not it was acceptable to be screened for the public. When Warners submitted Baby Face to the New York State Board of Censors, it was rejected for its frank subject matter on April 28, 1933. Since New York City was a financially important market, the studio reworked the film into a more acceptable form. The modified version was released in July 1933

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