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Thou Shalt Not


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Came on very late, so I recorded it for later viewing( Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood).


Very interesting doc.  But what I got out of it was that, technically, the only real "pre-codes" were movies made BEFORE 1930.  The "code" was actually adopted in that year, but just largely ignored.  The sex and racy scenes in many of those movies never did reach the level we would see by the 1970's, but far racier than we would have imagined for Hollywood movies at that point in history.  They "hinted" and "alluded" in ways that made them far more provocative than movies made in more modern times, leaving the viewer to use his/her vivid imagination however they chose.  But it was more than just sex and lascivious presentation of the female body.  The subject matter was more straightforward and honest than in later years.  Sometimes crime DOES pay, lewd behavior had no debilitating consequences and wife beaters and child abusers got away with it.  Just as they do TODAY in real life.


And much of the dialogue was snappy too.  In one clip, I laughed out loud when one woman told another, "As long as there's still sidewalks, you got a JOB!"  Whoa!  I GOTTA remember that one.


It was to my dismay to be reminded that church groups, as usual, figured it was their business to tell everyone else what they should be allowed to see, read and hear, instead of going about the task of saving only those wishing salvation.



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