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"New Yorker" article about the Pre-Code Era and The Hays Code


speedracer5
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http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/02/what-the-hays-code-did-for-women

 

Here's a new article from the New Yorker about the Hays Code and how it impacted women's sexuality in film.  

 

I find it especially interesting that in 1933, Mae West was the #1 box office star and a year later, when the Hays Code went into effect, Shirley Temple was #1.  Talk about doing a 180! 

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Yes, that`s quite true.  Quite a difference between Mae West and Shirley Temple.  LOL!

 

Although to be fair, - during the great depression people liked the idea of Shirley Temple dancing and being cute.

The biggest male star at the time, I think, was Charles Chaplin. Theatres would put a picture of his outside and even without saying what the picture was, people would come in droves.

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Yes, that`s quite true. Quite a difference between Mae West and Shirley Temple. LOL!

 

Although to be fair, - during the great depression people liked the idea of Shirley Temple dancing and being cute.

The biggest male star at the time, I think, was Charles Chaplin. Theatres would put a picture of his outside and even without saying what the picture was, people would come in droves.

 

 

At the height of the Depression in 1936 top box office was as follows:

 

1) Shirley Temple

2) Clark Gable

3) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

 

 

Clark Gable was the biggest male star of the Depression - - in 1936 he made four movies. One of which was the Blockbuster San Francisco.

 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made two movies in 1936 - - The Fabulous Swing Time and the equalitarian Follow the Fleet.

 

The box office leader, Shirley Temple made 3 films, including the wonderful Poor Little Rich Girl.

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At the height of the Depression in 1936 top box office was as follows:

 

1) Shirley Temple

2) Clark Gable

3) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

 

 

Clark Gable was the biggest male star of the Depression - - in 1936 he made four movies. One of which was the Blockbuster San Francisco.

 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made two movies in 1936 - - The Fabulous Swing Time and the equalitarian Follow the Fleet.

 

The box office leader, Shirley Temple made 3 films, including the wonderful Poor Little Rich Girl.

Okay, thanks for the correction. I just meant that Chaplin was popular during the depression. 

 

Clark Gable happens to be my favourite actor who shares the same birthday as I do.

 

Sorry it took so long to respond, but internet and TV connection went out overnight and I am just reading this now.

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http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/02/what-the-hays-code-did-for-women

 

Here's a new article from the New Yorker about the Hays Code and how it impacted women's sexuality in film.  

 

I find it especially interesting that in 1933, Mae West was the #1 box office star and a year later, when the Hays Code went into effect, Shirley Temple was #1.  Talk about doing a 180! 

When the Classic Film Union was present, I wrote a series looking into the Hays Code and its effect on Hollywood, and I found a lot of interesting things out: 

 

1) All of the stars on the box-office poison list were at the top of the box office, and got their fame during the Pre-Code era. It is possible to speculate that the box-office poison list was planted by Joseph Breen to get the result of censored cinema.

 

2) William Hays was a front man who was only the face of the desire for censored cinema. He, like countless other filmmakers, circumvented their own code to create several of the Pre-Codes we know and love.

 

3) The audiences demanding censorship, particularly the Catholic bloc, did not attend the movies they demonstrated against, while the people who saw the films were in the majority. 

 

4) In the years of strict enforcement, it wasn't really a matter of getting around as it was a matter of getting away with, because all it did was frustrate directors, screenwriters, and actors. 

 

Interesting article.

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....Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made two movies in 1936 - - The Fabulous Swing Time and the equalitarian Follow the Fleet.

 

 

I dislike prissy "correctors" here, and don't like to be one, but I think shirley you meant "egalitarian" ??  (I know you are a very literate lady, so probably a typo...)

 

Anyway, I'm not posting about that. I'm posting to defend Follow the Fleet, a Fred and Ginger movie which is every bit as "fabulous" as Swing Time. It's just as fun, and features fantastic music by the legendary Irving Berlin. Two stand-out numbers are "Let Yourself Go" (a song that for some reason, often runs through my head )  and "Let's Face the Music and Dance", this latter being one of the great musical moments in all of FredandGingerdom.

 

Sorry, speedracer, I realize this has nothing to do with the article you posted.

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Ok, I finally read that article. (Something with a certain depth to it, like the linked New Yorker article here, I need to set aside a little time to read it carefully.)

Really interesting stuff there. The history of our culture's continually changing set of standards and values when it comes to moral behaviour, and by extension, moral behaviour in the movies, is a fascinating one, and a pretty accurate barometer of what's going on in our society in general.  

 

I especially like this bit:

 

" For women, the screenwriting strategies created out of the Code were a net gain. Unlike the pre-Code goddesses, vamps, and bad girls, who crooned or spoke in snarls and wisecracks, the post-Code women could talk."

 

 

It suggests to me that, as the subtitle of the article indicates, there were ways in which "the Code" actually worked in favour of women. It forced the screenwriters to come up with alternative devices to show their female characters were sexy,* other than the raunchy double entendre jokes a la Mae West, and the revealing negligees ( a la just about all pre-Code actresses.)

 

* How were the Code women shown to be sexy? By their wit and intelligence.

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I dislike prissy "correctors" here, and don't like to be one, but I think shirley you meant "egalitarian" ?? (I know you are a very literate lady, so probably a typo...)

 

Anyway, I'm not posting about that. I'm posting to defend Follow the Fleet, a Fred and Ginger movie which is every bit as "fabulous" as Swing Time. It's just as fun, and features fantastic music by the legendary Irving Berlin. Two stand-out numbers are "Let Yourself Go" (a song that for some reason, often runs through my head ) and "Let's Face the Music and Dance", this latter being one of the great musical moments in all of FredandGingerdom.

 

Sorry, speedracer, I realize this has nothing to do with the article you posted.

 

Sorry Miss - - according to Merriam Webster the two words that you cited are equally equal.

 

And I love both movies - - I just always felt that Follow the Fleet had more of a down to earth flavor to it than the swanky nightclubbing Swing Time.

 

And what you said about prissy correctors is very funny to me because people who really know me characterize me as being that kind of a person.

 

The word they usually use is pedantic.

 

So I would hardly criticize another person for having a characteristic that is so similar to my own personality.

 

Let's face the music and dance--

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Sorry Miss - - according to Merriam Webster the two words that you cited are equally equal.

 

And I love both movies - - I just always felt that Follow the Fleet had more of a down to earth flavor to it than the swanky nightclubbing Swing Time.

 

And what you said about prissy correctors is very funny to me because people who really know me characterize me as being that kind of a person.

 

The word they usually use is pedantic.

 

So I would hardly criticize another person for having a characteristic that is so similar to my own personality.

 

Let's face the music and dance--

I enjoy both movies Follow the Fleet and Swing Time.

 

Swing Time has great music, but I've always had a problem with Black face. It happens all the time in musicals, I know.

 

But in looking at Astaire and Rogers pairings, this black face issue is a big aspect of how I list my preferences.

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