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Pre-code Hollywood collection

Pre-code Hollywood collection [videorecording].
DVD, Videodisc
Uniform series
Universal backlot series.
Universal Cily, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c[2009].
3 videodiscs (466 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (19 p. ; 18 cm.)
The Cheat: Tallulah Bankhead, Irving Pichel. Merrily we go to Hell: Frederic March, Sylvia Sidney. Hot Saturday: Nancy Carroll, Randolph Scott, Cary Grant. Torch singer: Claudette Colbert, Ricardo Cortez, David Manners, Lyda Roberti, Baby Le Roy. Murder at the Vanities: Carl Brisson, Victor McLaglen, Jack Oakie, Kitty Carlisle, Dorothy Stickney, Gertrude Michael. With the musical talents of Kitty Carlisle and Duke Ellington. Search for beauty: Larry 'Buster' Crabbe, Ida Lupino, Robert Armstrong, James Gleason, Roscoe Karns, Toby Wing, Gertrude Michael, Bradley Page.
System details
DVD; full frame 1.33:1; Dolby digital 2.0 mono.; digitally remastered; dual-layer; NTSC region 1.
Six films made before the Production Code. In 1934, Hollywood was turned upside down by the enforcement of a strict "Production Code" that would change the way movies were made for the next 34 years. But during the "pre-Code" period (1929-1934), censorship barely existed and filmmakers had free rein to make the movies they wanted and the public demanded. No subject was taboo including adultery, murder or sex. The cheat: Tallulah Bankhead plays a spoiled socialite who borrows money from an exotic art collector to replace what she has stolen from a charity. The collateral for the loan and the penalty for default may shock even modern audiences. The cheat violated the Production Code's strictures against miscegenation, sadism, white slavery and rape. Merrily we go to hell: A cautionary tale of a marriage wrecked by the drinking of a young husband. Has numerous scenes of drunken parties which were prohibited by the Code, as well as clinging gowns and art deco settings. Hot Saturday: A small-town girl spends the night with a family friend in defiance of her mother, who has accused her of sleeping with the town playboy. The Code forbade seduction scenes and disapproved of the scenes in which a group of young people drive to the playboy's lakeside lodge for a drinking party that leads to worse. Torch singer: Claudette Colbert plays a sexy radio chanteuse who passes her time with an entourage of drunken debauched friends while raising her child born out of wedlock. The Code prohibited stories of illicit love and drunkenness. Murder at the Vanities: This film is an elaborate showcase for the female form. It violated almost every section of the Code. Search for beauty: Con artists dupe Olympic athletes into endorsing a skin magazine. The movie was heavily censored.
Contents note
  • The cheat / Paramount Pictures ; silent film script, Hector Turnbull ; writer, Harry Hervey ; directed by George Abbott ; (1931 ; 68 min.)
  • Merrily we go to Hell / Paramount Pictures ; writer, Edwin Justus Mayer ; directed by Dorothy Arzner ; (1932 ; 84 min.)
  • Hot Saturday / Paramount Pictures ; writers, Josephine Lovett, Joseph Moncure March, Seton I. Miller ; directed by William A. Seiter ; (1932 ; 73 min.) ; Torch singer / Paramount Productions, Inc. ; screenplay by Lenore Coffee and Lynn Starling ; directed by Alexander Hall, George Somnes ; (1933 ; 72 min.)
  • Murder at the Vanities / Paramount Pictures ; dialogue, Sam Hellman ; writers, Joseph Gollomb, Carey Wilson ; directed by Mitchell Leisen ; (1934 ; 90 min.)
  • Search for beauty / Paramount Pictures ; story by David Boehm, Maurine Watkins ; dialogue, Sam Hellman ; writers, Claude Binyon, Frank Butler ; directed by Erle C. Kenton ; (1934 ; 78 min.)
Includes booklet: Code to govern the making of talking, synchronized and silent motion pictures and the reason supporting it / formulated by Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc. and Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc., June 13, 1934.
Target audience
Not rated.
Kinsey subjects
Cinema. Sex in cinema.
Other contributors
Paramount Pictures Corporation. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Firm)
Other titles
Cheat. Merrily we go to hell. Hot Saturday. Torch singer. Murder at the Vanities. Search for beauty.


Blmgtn - Kinsey Institute Library (by appointment only)
Call Number
A-V (Audio-Visual)
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