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Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code hollywood star. “Well, I think is that the denial of reality was what the Production Code was all about. When you establish these kinds of moral views, youre not trying to describe the world as it really is. Youre trying to describe the world as someone thinks it ought to be. ” Produced by Warner Brothers and sometimes shown on Turner Classic Movies, Thou Shalt Not is a breezy 68-minute documentary on the pre-Code Hollywood era. Its a good, brief introduction with lots of clips and examples of the movies being discussed. The commentators include: Jerry Beck wrote several books on the history of American cartoons, co-founded Cartoon Brew, and currently runs Cartoon Research and Animation Scoop. Rudy Behlmer  is a film historian whose has written 10 books on classical Hollywood. He also wrote and performed commentary tracks on movies like Gone With the Wind, Frankenstein, and Casablanca. Molly Haskell is a noted film critic whose career at the Village Voice is well remembered. She also wrote the book From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies. You can find her personal site here. Hugh Hefner, founder of “Playboy” magazine, is also a noted movie fan and advocate for film preservation. Jonathan Kuntz is a professor of film and television history at UCLA. John Landis directed Beverly Hills Cop III. Tony Maietta is a film historian who has contributed to several documentaries and commentaries. You can find his personal site here. Leonard Maltin is a well-known film critic and author. His blog can be found here. Camille Paglia is the author of several film essay books and a professor at the University of the Arts. She also has the best line in the movie when she says that pre-Code Norma Shearer is “slut city”. Jack Valenti was the head of the MPAA for 38 years and helped to create the movie ratings system. Jeffrey Vance is a film historian and author of several books on silent comedians. Hes also recorded several film commentary tracks, including one for Night Nurse. Mark A. Viera should be well known to anyone whos reading this site. Hes the author of Sin in Soft Focus, one of the best books about pre-Code available. The documentary contains lengthy clips and discussion around the following movies: A Free Soul Baby Face Beast of the City “Boskos Picture Show” The Common Law Convention City The Divorcee Employees Entrance Female Footlight Parade Forsaking All Others I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang Im No Angel Illicit King Kong Madame Satan Night Nurse Penthouse Possessed The Public Enemy Queen Christina Red Headed Woman Safe in Hell She Done Him Wrong Tarzan and His Mate Three on a Match Wonder Bar There isnt a whole lot to critically discuss about the documentary as it mostly sticks to the story about how and why censorship came about and the ways in which studios flouted the Production Code in the early 1930s. Theres definitely an emphasis on Warner Brothers pictures that is unmistakeable, and the absence of a discussion of horror pictures or even the works of Ernst Lubitsch may raise a few eyebrows. But for anyone who wants a brief rundown of pre-Code antics along with some excellent clips and a nice ‘beginners list to pre-Code, this movie should fit the bill nicely. If youre interested in learning more about the history of the Production Code, check out my What is Pre-Code Hollywood? page. I also have up on the site a list of pre-Code films. TCMDB also has an article by Stephanie Zacharek that serves as a good summary of what the film covers. This film is available in the second Forbidden Hollywood Collection. Its on the third disk as a bonus feature for Night Nurse. Post navigation.

Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code hollywoodreporter. Seller: crimsondaybreak14 (224) 100% Location: Atlanta, Georgia, Ships to: US, Item: 163689450738 These are 2 official promotional DVDs from TCM (Turner Classic Movies. Both DVDs feature the entire programs. The DVDs have basic information stamped on them and they both come inside plain jewel cases. The DVDs were not issued sealed. The DVDs are in mint condition and have never been viewed. See my other items for more Hays Code DVDs. Buy both sets and get free shipping (within the USA. The first DVD is the 2003 documentary Complicated Women explores the provocative role of women in pre-code Hollywood. Covering the years from 1929, when sound pushed movies into the modern era, until 1934, when the Hays Code virtually neutered film content, Complicated Women looks at the stereotype breaking films of this period, movies that no longer portrayed women as virgins or vamps. Instead, the liberated female of the pre-code films had dimensions; good girls had lovers and babies and held down jobs, while the bad girls were cast in a sympathetic light. And they did it all without apology. Complicated Women is narrated by Jane Fonda. Despite its scholarly roots, the documentary relies primarily on film clips to tell the story. The clips are numerous, well chosen and many of them rarely seen since their original release. Best of all, the clips in Complicated Women make these early pictures more accessible and will leave viewers wanting to see the entire film and learn more about the pre-code stars. One of the major pre-code stars is Norma Shearer, reigning queen of MGM, who persuaded the powers that be (including husband Irving Thalberg) to cast her as an adulteress in The Divorcee (1930. Shearer saw the role as an opportunity to change her image. In turn, The Divorcee was one of the first films to transform the image of the devoted wife. When her husband has an affair, Shearer's character takes matters into her own hands and has an affair of her own. On the flip side, Greta Garbo in both A Woman of Affairs (1928) and Anna Christie (1930) manages to make the vamp (and in the case of Anna Christie, the prostitute) acceptable. As Complicated Women puts it, Norma Shearer took the ingénue into bedroom, and Garbo made the tramp moral. Cast: Jane Fonda (Narrator) Frances Dee, Kitty Carlisle, BW&C-55m. Closed captioning. The 2nd DVD is "Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood. 75 minutes, 2012. Salacious dialogue, chorus girls in filmy, barely there golden costumes, gangsters who glamourize violence: Those are all the things we think of when we talk about pre-Code cinema, a term used to refer to movies made before 1934, the year the Motion Picture Production Code began to be strictly enforced. The Code was a set of moral guidelines instituted by the Hays Office, a watchdog group led by the former U. S. postmaster general Will Hays, indicating what kinds of scenes, situations and language were acceptable in films. Its goal was to protect moviegoers from any unwholesome influences that might float down from the screen and do moral harm. Though the Code wasn't fully enforced until 1934, it had actually been instituted in 1930, as Hollywood's way of responding to anxiety over the way film content had been changing since the advent of talkies. The 2008 documentary Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood, written by Steven Smith and featuring the insights of film historians and cultural critics including Molly Haskell, Camille Paglia and Leonard Maltin, lays out the history of the Code in clear, chronological detail, explaining how it came into being and, later, how movies changed when it began to be enforced. In 1930, the MPPDA, a trade association of movie studios that had been formed in 1922 (and which was later renamed The Motion Picture Association of America, as it's known today) introduced and immediately adopted the Motion Picture Production Code. Hays, the MPPDA's first president, oversaw the drafting of the Code, and although the studios were willing to abide by it - they had, after all, helped forge it - economic pressures in the early years of the Depression led them to virtually ignore its admonitions. Failing box-office figures meant the studios needed to lure audiences into movie theaters, and portraying all manner of dazzling criminal activity and saucy antics among sophisticated city folk was the best way to do that. SPECIAL OFFER: Buy any 2 DVDs (or dvd sets) and get a 3rd DVD free (or dvd set. Just let me know what the 3rd item is. Thank you! Condition: Brand New, Country/Region of Manufacture: United States, Format: DVD, Genre: Documentary, Sub-Genre: Biography PicClick Insights for " Complicated Women + Thou Shall Not Sex Sin, 2 Dvds ~ Hays Pre-Code ~ Censorship " PicClick Exclusive   Popularity - 213 views, 0. 8 views per day, 265 days on eBay. Super high amount of views. 4 sold, 1 available. 213 views, 0. 4 sold, 1 available.   Price -   Seller - 224+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Great seller with very good positive feedback and over 50 ratings. 224+ items sold. Great seller with very good positive feedback and over 50 ratings. Recent Feedback Similar Items to " Complicated Women + Thou Shall Not Sex Sin, 2 Dvds ~ Hays Pre-Code ~ Censorship " PicClick Exclusive WHY BE GOOD. WITHOUT LYING DOWN, 2 DVDs, HAYS PRE-CODE CENSORSHIP EARLY CINEMA 23. 99 Buy It Now 16d 19h O Brother, Where Art Thou? 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I recently saw Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-code Hollywood. It was quite revealing to me. I assumed that the post war zeitgeist was one of a sort of whitewashed external wholesomeness and the sexual revolution and rise of the left in the 60s something the white picket fence types feared. But, i wasn't aware that from around 1930, their was a code that actually censored out many themes from American eyes. Criminals could not be seen in a positive light, America could only be seen in a postive light, and the type of Howard Zinn reality was actually forbidden, in a tribalistic sort of ethnocentricity. Even if certain states could show situations like people drinking alchohol in a film, Bible belt states were allowed to actually edit such scenes and others they found distasteful, out of these films. This whole complaint from the elderly curmudgeon like right that are Fox watchers and teapartiers, that any non-USA cheerleaders hate America, is no wonder present in a generation that lived under a false reality based on such censorship. Of course gays, and sex out od wedlock, and mixed race relationships were also censored, and this generation lived behind rose colored glasses for nearly 40 years of media censorship. It is quite telling that after the end of this code, in 1968, coupled with the sexual revolution, civil rights, and the hippy movement, that a backlash occured in the form of the moral majority, that has slowly taken power over the last 40 years. They saw their world comming to an end, even though their world only existed in fantasy due to media censorship. It is no wonder they see things in black and white with little nuance since they grew up in a sterilzed media environment that was equally black and white, and polyanish. It's no wonder they reject facts, as they have lived in an unrealistic fantasy for 40 years of their lives, shielded by reality through censorship. Again, I thought this was just a cutlural zeitgeist, but it turns out it was an authoritarian measure to control what we saw and inevitably what we believed, through institutuionalized censorship, that the right ironically demonizes in authoritarian communist regimes for doing with media like Pravda. The right shows their hand in believing that it's not authoritarianism they despise as an enemy of democracy. They actually believe in authoritarianism that keeps things they way the want it to be. The hate left wing authoritarianism, but love right wing authoritarianism. I believe this is a big part of the dissconect. When they debate us, they are frustrated that we can't see their dream world, and no matter how many facts we throw at them, or show them that they are voting against their self interests, all they can see is a dream-like nexus that they want to return to, that only existed in their minds by rejecting reality.

Salacious dialogue, chorus girls in filmy, barely there golden costumes, gangsters who glamourize violence: Those are all the things we think of when we talk about pre-Code cinema, a term used to refer to movies made before 1934, the year the Motion Picture Production Code began to be strictly enforced. The Code was a set of moral guidelines instituted by the Hays Office, a watchdog group led by the former U. S. postmaster general Will Hays, indicating what kinds of scenes, situations and language were acceptable in films. Its goal was to protect moviegoers from any unwholesome influences that might float down from the screen and do moral harm. Though the Code wasn't fully enforced until 1934, it had actually been instituted in 1930, as Hollywood's way of responding to anxiety over the way film content had been changing since the advent of talkies. The 2008 documentary Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood, written by Steven Smith and featuring the insights of film historians and cultural critics including Molly Haskell, Camille Paglia and Leonard Maltin, lays out the history of the Code in clear, chronological detail, explaining how it came into being and, later, how movies changed when it began to be enforced. In 1930, the MPPDA, a trade association of movie studios that had been formed in 1922 (and which was later renamed The Motion Picture Association of America, as it's known today) introduced and immediately adopted the Motion Picture Production Code. Hays, the MPPDA's first president, oversaw the drafting of the Code, and although the studios were willing to abide by it - they had, after all, helped forge it - economic pressures in the early years of the Depression led them to virtually ignore its admonitions. Failing box-office figures meant the studios needed to lure audiences into movie theaters, and portraying all manner of dazzling criminal activity and saucy antics among sophisticated city folk was the best way to do that. Thou Shalt Not explores the films of the early 1930s, using clips and commentary to show what made them so exciting and vital. As of 1930, the MPPDA didn't necessarily have a moral agenda, and outlandish films like Cecil B. DeMille's 1930 Madam Satan carried over plenty of moral decadence from the 1920s: A party scene features male guests wearing feathery codpieces and a girl in a tiny, silvery costume perched on a swing. In Thou Shalt Not, the filmmaker John Landis calls Madam Satan "downright pornographic. and just from what we can see in these clips, he's probably right. Other films were far less cheerful, disturbing to audiences for other reasons: In 1930, with some 5 million people unemployed, cynicism and despair had taken root, and that was reflected in the movies, too. In a clip from William Wellman's 1933 Heroes for Sale, a man down on his luck laments, It's the end of America. His friend offers a democratic yet cheerless response: No, maybe it's the end of us, but it's not the end of America. " No wonder audiences needed cheering up. The studios filled that need with movies that showed all sorts of sexual misbehavior, usually among the rich. In 1930 Norma Shearer - wife of Irving Thalberg, himself one of the architects of the Code - appeared in The Divorcee, playing a character who gets revenge on her unfaithful husband by sleeping with his best friend. The performance earned her an Oscar, and in Thou Shalt Not, Paglia points out that the film made her reconsider Shearer's talents: Paglia used to think of Shearer as a "goody two-shoes. but in The Divorcee, she shows off her "marvelous ability, and fluid body language. And as film critic and historian Molly Haskell points out, women characters had "a lot of sexual freedom" in pre-Code movies like The Divorcee and Clarence Brown's 1931 A Free Soul, often conducting themselves with a cavalier spirit more frequently afforded to men. Other films, like Mervyn LeRoy's 1932 Three on a Match, featuring Bette Davis, Joan Blondell and Ann Dvorak, were titillating for their more tawdry aspects. That film featured instances of drug use, drunkenness, adultery, frigidity, child abuse and kidnapping. But, as film historian Mark Vieira points out, Dvorak - who plays a woman gone morally astray - was at her best in pre-Code movies like this one. She was, he says, like a raw nerve, a loose wire. She lost something as an actress after the 1934 Code crackdown. Similarly, as Landis points out, actors like Warren William, who played a series of marvelous, appealing cads in the early 1930s, had fewer opportunities to be the bad boy once Hollywood began cleaning up its act. That cleanup began in earnest when Hays made Joseph Breen, a former journalist, head of the newly formed Production Code Administration in 1934. Breen, unlike Hays, was fiercely moralistic - he was a devout Roman Catholic, and anti-Semitic to boot - and didn't like what Hollywood was dishing out. One of the first movies into which he sank his claws was Alfred E. Green's 1933 Baby Face, in which Barbara Stanwyck played a woman from the "wrong side of the tracks" who goes to the big city and sleeps her way up the social ladder. Breen demanded four minutes' worth of cuts and changes to Baby Face, and the studio, Warner Bros., complied. Still, upon the movie's release, audiences weren't fooled into thinking it was wholesome entertainment; even with Breen's changes incorporated, the picture was still zealously racy. Liberty Magazine wrote, Three cheers for sin! But Breen was not about to be defeated or ignored. In 1933, the Catholic Legion of Decency - later called the National Legion of Decency. was established by Roman Catholic Bishops. Although the group wasn't affiliated with the PCA, it proved to be one of Breen's greatest allies: In 1934, it spearheaded a boycott of all films playing in Philadelphia, a move that hit Hollywood right in the pocketbook. Though the studios and some individual filmmakers continued to push back against Breen - and, according to lore, director W. Van Dyke even punched him out in a bar - he became so powerful and threatening to the business that they were ultimately forced to comply. As we now know, the Production Code hardly succeeded in killing off the movies: Paglia points out that the post-Code era, including the screwball comedies of the 1930s and early '40s, was "the height of American art-making. and that is has "never been surpassed. There are films that continue to emotional appeal and eroticism. [Post-Code movies are] far more erotic in their own way, because of what they could not show. By 1954, the power of the Code began to disintegrate; in 1968, it was replaced by the MPAA ratings system, still in use today. But as Thou Shalt Not shows, the movies of the pre-Code years constitute their own special, glorious era: In those years of freedom, Hollywood produced movies with a kind of wit, sophistication and vitality that's unmatched even by contemporary cinema, in which, supposedly, anything goes. By Stephanie Zacharek Screenplay: Steven Smith Cast: Valerie Spencer (narrator) John Landis, Jonathan Kuntz, Mark Vieira, Camille Paglia, Molly Haskell, Leonard Maltin, Hugh M. Hefner, Rudy Behlmer [B&W and color, 68 minutes] VIEW TCMDb ENTRY.

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. Sepiatone.

Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code. Download thou shalt not: sex, sin and HDQ Watch`Thou`Shalt`Not: Sex, Sin`and`Censorship`in`Pre-Code`Hollywood`movie`beta. Review of  Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin, and Censorship in pre-Code Hollywood Review of  The Divorcee We get to the last  Norma Shearer  film in the Forbidden Hollywood volume two box set and honestly, I should have stuck with watching  The Divorcee  because  A Free Soul   is a frustrating hour and a half of confusion.  The plot is all kinds of convoluted literally starting in one relationship and taking a complete 360 into introducing another relationship that never gels because its not set-up.  Add that a last-minute move from a romantic drama to a courtroom procedural and it proves  A Free Soul  is all gimmick, no substance. Jan Ashe (Norma Shearer) is a wealthy social whose drunken father has recently gotten mobster Ace Wilfong ( Clark Gable) off for murder.  Ace takes a shine to Jan and as the two fall in love Jan forsakes her reputation and breaks her engagement to society equal Dwight Winthrop ( Leslie Howard.  Trouble stirs when Ace becomes too possessive of Jan leaving Dwight in hot water for murder. Reading that synopsis you should know the first lines of this review: PRE-CODE CLARK GABLE!  We saw him in  Night Nurse  so this marks his second pre-Code in the Forbidden Hollywood box set and his third on this blog (I previously covered  Red Dust.  I will say Gable is the only reason to watch this film and only continues my appreciation of his range.  Its sad that Gable really settled into the macho leading man role because his pre-Code work is diverse and his grandiose personality is so fun to watch.  I loved Gable in this because despite him playing a bipolar cad who one minute is nice to Jan, joking about how he knows her  family hates him, then turn into a Lifetime depiction of the possessive boyfriend.  Had Ace remained a mobster who was snarky and pulled down the curtain to show how snobby the rich were it would have been great, instead director Clarence Brown and screenwriter John Meehan turn him into a stereotypical mob guy. Im getting ahead of myself, let me try to write out this review chronologically to show my confusion.  Were introduced to Jan and an older man played by  Lionel Barrymore.  I knew nothing about  A Free Souls  plot so when the film opens you assume the two are a  May-December romance  of some kind and thats the scandal.  Youd continue to see this by how the two  kiss each other on the mouth  and Jan asks him to get her “undies” and other clothes.  After all this youre told the two are Stephan and Jan Ashe… and daughter!  Yes, they call each other “darling, ” he gets her panties, and THEY  KISS  ON THE MOUTH.  By this point, about ten minutes into the film, I was pretty sickened and figured the film couldnt rise above this and while it didnt, the Ashes relationship was forever incestuous in my mind throughout the runtime.  The relationship between these two is disturbing to say the least and Im not sure exactly but I believe they allude to the fact that Jans mother died when Jan was a little girl leading the audience to believe that Jan has been taking her mothers place (without the sex… I hope so.  A key scene has Stephen finding Jan in Aces apartment.  Jans half nude and starts to cover herself.  The scene is meant to ask whats worse: Jan seeing her father drunk or Stephen seeing his daughter openly flaunting her sex life.  Personally, I read it more as two lovers realizing their secret lives and the film leaves that on the table.  Told you they were creepy. As the film progresses these two become the key sources of melodrama.  Stephan is a drunken hypocrite who refuses to let Ace marry Jan, and calls Ace a “mongrel” who doesnt know his place.  Yeah this guy kisses his daughter on the lips, I dont think he knows his place too well.  Jan on the other hand is the woman torn between a multitude of men who love her enough to kill for her.  Shearer grows by leaps and bounds in this film.  Shes natural and relaxed more than she was in  The Divorcee  and she embraces her promiscuous side in this film, finding it funny that Ace “wants to talk some more. ”  Its obvious shes gained confidence in her acting and is able to embrace her sexuality to the point she wears a dress that is beyond see-through.  Its gorgeous but Id go so far as to label it a nude scene because you can prominently see her breasts through it.  Sadly the gif above only gives a glimpse of what you see on-screen.  Thats not to say Shearer is perfect.  Theres still a silent era quality to her acting that limits her range.  Case in point, as the film turns to the murder trial of the third act Shearer is supposed to convey a tortured soul, anguish and suffering and to do that she relies heavily on putting her hand over her face.  You can get pretty blitzed if you played a drinking game during this film for every time Shearer puts her hand on her face in a tense situation. Jan is the light by which all the relationships circle so lets look at the two men shes squabbling over.  You have pre-Code Clark Gable and bland as white bread Leslie Howard.  Ace is a smart aleck who despite being on trial for murder is doesnt seek approval from the rich.  He knows they hate him so hes not going to try to impress them, “not a lot of people believe that gag about being born equal. ”  Aces relationship with Jan introduces the story of an illicit romance meeting resistance from societal expectations.  Keep in mind this plot goes nowhere by the third act as were supposed to hate Ace for his bipolar “Im going to control women by stalking” persona.  In the first half of the film you cant blame Jan for falling for Ace, hes fun and diverse compared to Dwight who sits there and looks pained.   Its easy to see in the first act why Howards character is so boring.  Youre not supposed to like him because he represents the oppressive world of the rich; the safe world that Jan is supposed to marry into and you want her to be with Ace.  It only makes the third act so head-scratching because apparently thats not how you were supposed to see Dwight now that Ace is a dick but it only makes Dwight look even more poorly written. The third act really is a travesty starting with the implications that Ace is a total douchebag.  All of a sudden characters mention Aces side jobs as a murderer, an opium dealer and a white slave trader (wow dont sugarcoat him.  Did you forget his indulgence in cannibalism and puppy kicking.   The problem is were never shown any signs of this.  In fact before these are mentioned Ace is perfectly sweet to Jan so when this is revealed its unbelievable because were simply being told hes a dick.  I didnt understand the severe push to make Ace so bad and so controlling.  At one point Jan shows up to see him after breaking off the relationship.  Ace becomes a completely new character and so does Jan!  Even though she showed up to see him, she acts as if he forced her there!  I honestly believe  A Free Soul  is made up of two half-written scripts because the transition is so jarring as to be painful. Of course we see the reintroduction of Dwight after a complete removal of him for over 75 minutes of screen time (hes in the opening half and then doesnt show up till the third act.  I didnt find him any better than Ace in the third act because he also wants to control Jan through marriage, telling Ace at one point hed “tie her up” and marry her.  The problem is Ace is a man of action and Dwight is all talk which Im assuming is meant to make him a better suitor for Jans hand?  Really I found him annoying.  To add insult to injury, Jan says she doesnt want to marry either of them (yes, not Dwight or Ace) but their fighting over her proves neither one cares how she feels.  It all boils down to her marrying “the right one” when really both are tools.  Jan isnt a free soul at all but neither is she as strong-willed and action-orientated as she was in  The Divorcee.  If she channeled her character in  The Divorcee, Jerry, shed probably tell both of them to go F-themselves. Once Dwight murders Ace (to prove his love to Jan or because Ace was an ass, take your pick) I guess Dwight and Jan fall in love.  I say “I guess” because were never ever shown this.  Jan just shows up at the prison to see Dwight and they profess their love for each other.  See what Im saying about this feeling like two different scripts?  The actual trial is where the lunacy hits its peak as were apparently supposed to forget the entire first half of the movie!  When Jan is testifying at Dwights trial she admits she loved Ace yet no one brings up their prior relationship.  Youd think the prosecutor would use that as a way to seal Dwights fate; that he was jealous of Ace for having Jan.  Instead the past relationship between Ace and Jan is irrelevant and Jan acts like she was a poor, kidnapped girl in this situation!  I know Ace wasnt a saint but the trial vilifies him as a stalker of a poor woman who didnt return his advances and the audience knows thats not true.  Critics cite Lionel Barrymores speech in the courtroom as his best and while its a good bit of acting it has no business being in this courtroom scene.  First off, Im not even sure Stephan is Dwights lawyer so why is he taking the reins on this case?  And his entire closing argument is him recounting his failings as a father and how he forced Jan into the relationship?  Barrymore plays the character so grandiose I assumed he was playing Stephen as a drunk because why would he turn the trial into his need to confess?  I could understand maybe him revealing hes in love with his daughter but thats not necessary in the end. Oh and the end, heres my exact conversation I had with myself while watching this:  “Did Dwight get acquitted?  I mean hes sitting with Jan and theyre kissing.  Wait its over?  WHAT! ”  Yes it simply ends with Jan and Dwight sitting together in a house kissing.  I dont know if Dwight got acquitted or what but thank God Stephen unburdened himself in that courtroom.  If his speech got Dwight off for murder I want to know how hes not raking in the dough for doing absolutely no lawyering and freeing felons. The first half made me like  A Free Soul  better than  The Divorcee  but that last half is pure awful.  Theres nothing scandalous in this, not compared to  The Divorcee  or other pre-Codes.   A Free Soul  is a straight melodrama cobbled together to create one good half and another thats dreck.  If you have to watch this at all do it for the pre-Code Clark Gable and turn it off after 60 minutes. Grade: D Interested in purchasing todays film?  If you use the handy link below a small portion will be donated to this site!  Thanks! Categories 1930s, Crime, Drama, Romance Tags 1930s, A Free Soul, Academy Awards, Clarence Brown, Clark Gable, classic, Crime, Divorcee, drama, Forbidden Hollywood, Free Soul, Hays Code, Hollywood, Journeys in Classic Film, Lionel Barrymore, love triangle, Norma Shearer, Oscars, pre-Code, Pre-Code Hollywood, Romance, sex, TCM, Turner Classic Movies Kristen Lopez View All A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L. A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.

Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code hollywood. Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code hollywood poker. Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code hollywood crush. Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code hollywood reporter. Of how "Hitler's Pope" used his U.S. henchmen such as Joseph Breen to ride a rising tide of anti-Semitism in dragging America back into to Dark Ages. Under almost exclusively Jewish leadership, THOU SHALT NOT shows that the Hollywood of 1925-1934 championed Feminism, LGBT Rights, equal pay for equal work, Gay Marriage, birth control, prison reform, family planning, fighting income disparity, exposing government corruption, defying Fascist Authority, abandoning Feudal Traditions, promoting cutting-edge science, behaving with Common Decency, respecting the Rights of the Individual, Free Thinking, the power of the Union Label, Social Justice, Liberalism, Voting Power, Religious Freedom, and Change. Since EVERY ONE of these Tinsel Town Precepts upset the racist bigots running Rome, Breen's American Brownshirts squelched our historic Freedom of Speech and Right to Mature Entertainment totally for some 20 years. Though a few rays of Light have broken through the Dark Clouds of mindless superstition, craven cowering, and lock-step compliance since 1954, THOU SHALT NOT proves that we have not entirely bounced back from the Pit yet. THOU SHALT NOT references 54 "Pre-Code" flicks (including two animated shorts) and 14 movies released after July 1, 1934 (a date which has lived on with Infamy. A dozen present-day experts on American Culture such as Hugh Hefner lament what we lost 81 years ago, and wonder if we will EVER regain the Wisdom and Modernity of 1933.

Overview Details Night nurse Lora Hart (Barbara Stanwyck) fears the worst as the two young children she's been hired to care for waste away in front of her eyes in William Wellman's 1931 classic. Could a nefarious chauffeur played by Clark Gable be responsible? It's up to the determined nurse to expose his connection with a dirty doctor. The documentary Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood reveals the sizzling early days of Hollywood. Screen Full Screen 1. 33:1 Audio English: Dolby Digital 2. 0 Stereo Rating NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.