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ERIC Number: EJ920712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
The Forgotten Women of Pre-Code: An Annotated Filmography and Bibliography
Tang, Jennifer
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v20 n3 p237-248 2010
In recent years, "pre-code" films have been re-discovered and applauded by film scholars and feminists. The term refers to the period between 1929 and 1934 when many Hollywood studios openly disregarded the censorship restrictions of the Hays Code. Named after censorship czar William H. Hays, the Code forbade nudity, cursing, sexual innuendo, miscegenation, and a host of other behaviors deemed inappropriate or offensive by religious groups. However, the impact of the Great Depression and the lack of a unified standard among state censorship boards allowed Hollywood to take risks in what could be shown. The result was a series of uncompromising, insightful, and controversial films that explored mature relationships between the sexes, offered realistic depictions of society's downtrodden, and challenged social and sexual mores. After Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office and the economy recovered slightly, religious groups finally took on what they saw as the excesses of Hollywood. In 1934, the Catholic Legion of Decency mobilized a successful boycott against the studios, ordering millions of Roman Catholics to abstain from movie attendance until their demands were met. Amid a climate of anti-Semitism, the studio moguls were forced to capitulate. The result was the reinstitution of the Production Code, a censorship board that dominated all aspects of Hollywood filmmaking until the 1960s, when a rating-based system replaced it. This filmography is intended to broaden a contemporary audiences' knowledge and appreciation of pre-code film and explore the ways in which these works can be used to support teaching and learning on campus. Contrary to the perception that the 1940s was the heyday of the "woman's picture," the pre-code era has been recognized by some film historians to have provided actually more opportunities to portray women as independent, strong-minded, and courageous in their explorations of sexuality. This annotated filmography and selective bibliography examines how and why these films might be considered appropriate for any college film collection and offers recommendations for collection development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A