[Read] ➱ Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood By Mark A. Vieira – Saudionline.co.uk


Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood quotes Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood, litcharts Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood, symbolism Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood, summary shmoop Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood, Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood 1b3a3728 Showcasing The Pre Code Hollywood Era, This Is An Account Of The Making Of Films Between March , When The Film Industry Adopted The Production Code, And July , When It Became Fully Enforced Mark Vieira Documents The Infamous Power Struggle Between Hollywood Producers And The Censors, Who Sought To Forbid Profanity, Excessive Violence, Illegal Drugs, Sexual Perversion And Explicitness, White Slavery, Racial Mingling, Suggestive Dancing, Lustful Kissing And The Like Visual Artistry Of The Era S Controversial Films And Highlights The Careers Of Screen Luminaries Such As Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, James Cagney, Mae West, Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert, Norma Shearer, Gary Cooper And Clark Gable


10 thoughts on “Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood

  1. says:

    A fascinating book about early Hollywood The Hays and Breen crowd were so eager to save the public from anything naughty They would feel right at home at the Cleveland convention.


  2. says:

    Firstly, the photo reproductions in this book are second to none Just ravishing The nitrate halo imagery of the film stills of that era can never be duplicated, but at least they re reproduced faithfully here.Secondly, the text is pithy and to the point This is a good basic primer on the relatively lax Hayes Code era of the early 20s up to 1934 when the strict Breen Office Production Code enforcement went into effect to severely curb sexual, violent and subversive content in Hollywood movies Ironically, in my view, the strict institution of the 34 Code actually resulted in some ways in better movies eg, comedy writing got better as writers had to be wittier to skirt the code This is not the fashionable view now, since the tendency is to favor the rebellious streak in art and culture But, yes, the pre Code era, as it s called, was filled with tremendously great films, especially from 1932 to 1934.There are comprehensive and scholarly treatments of this subject, from a textual point of view, but this is a good compromise marriage of solid primer text and incomparable illustration.


  3. says:

    One of the best books on pre code films those movies made in Hollywood between 1930 and 1934, which broke the rules of self censorship which were really only lightly enforced during that period Lots of black and white photos in this book A great reference work that has led me to a great number of pre code films that I would never have heard of otherwise A lot of fun to cross reference this films mentioned in this book with the monthly TCM broadcast schedule Set the DVR to record


  4. says:

    Another good book on pre code movies Oversized, with great pictures, it is arranged in chronological order and talks about negotiations and cuts in individual films Lots of stuff on how the censorship office worked


  5. says:

    Ah, the Pre Code days, where men could be effeminate, women could be promiscuous, and stories didn t always end happily.From 1929 1934, movies reflected a very different image than the treacle most people associate with old films They were raw, gritty, and most of all, realistic Divorce, crime, prostitution, povertyall these things were dealt with openly and with brutal honesty So much was lost when the Hays Code was finally enforced with an iron fist it took until the 1960s to see that kind of frankness in film again.The pictures alone in this book are reason enough to read it, but Vieria s writing is informative yet easygoing and engaging You will get a priceless education into this all too short era in motion pictures.


  6. says:

    Good design Well written Chronicles of pop entertainment industry tribulations aren t really of interest to me but I considered buying this The material is addressed so lovingly Unabashed loyalty makes this work credible, useful, informative than the scholarly accounts of the 1930 production code and the moral influence of film arts.


  7. says:

    Beautiful and informative, this coffee table book is the best of both worlds It is filled with facts about specific films and censorship in general The photographs are gorgeous and worth seeking out.


  8. says:

    Coffee table book of great film stills.


  9. says:

    I had read several years ago Mark A Vieira s book Hurrell s Hollywood Portraits and, as a photographer, had found it extremely useful Vieira, who is himself a portrait photographer, had actually known Hurrell and was thoroughly familiar with the techniques he had used to create his dazzling black white portraits of the famous film stars Some of these, such as the use of fresnel lighting, were fairly obvious while others, such as the choice of orthochromatic film to lighten skin tones, were not readily apparent The book was essential reading for anyone who wanted to create old style glamour photos.I found Vieira s Sin in Soft Focus Pre Code Hollywood to be equally absorbing if not quite as informative on a technical level The work deals with the roughly five year period from 1930 to 1935 when that era s moral majority laid siege to Hollywood and sought to censor the wild and wicked films issuing from its studios As such, the narrative offers a parallel to our own day when rapid technological advances threaten to undermine traditional beliefs In opposition to one another are the leaders of a relatively new industry against those who see change as a menace to the status quo In a certain sense, the real concern of moral authorities was with the medium itself rather than with its content.The highly objectionable content of 1930 s films seems to us now, of course, perfectly tame Watching these old films on cable, one wonders what the fuss was about Depictions of such subjects as cohabitation, adultery, drug use and homosexuality became acceptable decades ago and are now routinely shown in film and print The creation of such an organization as the Legion of Decency in 1933 seems quaint and old fashioned But the question of censorship remains as relevant now as it did then Who is qualified to determine what material is fit to be seen by the general public The book is divided into five chapters each of which deals with a given calendar year and details within that twelve month period the struggles between each of the major studios and the censors who had been put in place to keep watch over them The original code, established in 1930 after the introduction of the first talking film, was a or less voluntary affair and consisted of the implementation of guidance rules Individual states, however, possessed their own censorship boards that were empowered to make cuts to any films they deemed objectionable This obviously provides material for some amusing anecdotes as studio heads attempted by hook or crook to get their films past the keepers of the Code But for the studios, the situation was deadly serious They had enormous sums of money, at least by Depression standards, riding on each film and needed as large an audience for them as could be found To that end, it was imperative that the studios include some controversial material simply to lure movie goers into the theater Having films bowdlerized cut into box office receipts at a time when the poor economy had already reduced audience size.While most of the actors and directors mentioned in the book are familiar to anyone with even the slightest knowledge of film history, the real players are such studio executives as Irving Thalberg, Jack Warner and Darryl Zanuck and the Code enforcers such as Will Hays and Joseph Breen There are many behind the scenes glimpses of a now vanished era when the studios were run by a few strong willed individuals rather than corporate conglomerates.The real stars of Sin in Soft Focus, though, are the stars themselves They look out at us from one film still after another, each photograph a tour de force of technical skill Almost every major actor of the period is portrayed here though obviously most attention is paid to those such as Norma Shearer and Mae West whose performances were most controversial The photographs themselves are lovingly reproduced and form the real heart of the book Vieira s genuine love for these masterworks is evident throughout, and he makes it a point to identify the photographer wherever possible and to point out to the reader the qualities of the photograph itself Aside from portraits of the actors, there are stills showing scenes from the various films Many of these such as those from Madame Satan or The Black Cat are electrifying even after the passage of so many years.While Vieira s book is most useful to photographers, it should be read by anyone with an interest not only in motion picture history but also the history of American censorship In both instances it is an invaluable reference.


  10. says:

    I absolutely loved this book one of the best History of Hollywood books it has been my pleasure to read The emphasis here is on a no man s land period from 1930 to 1934 when sound added a new layer to the content that moviegoers might find objectionable in addition to the artistic visual displays from the silent era With individual states setting up their own film censor boards and enforcing cuts before a motion picture could be exhibited in their jurisdictions and fears of the creation of a federal censorship board coming into being, the movie industry attempted to be self policing through the implementation of a Don t Do and Be Careful policy The difficulty, of course, is that artistic people can be very creative in side stepping rules Add to that the policy having few teeth to require enforcement and the result was a healthy supply of adult themes contained within entertainment permitted for public consumption The writer provides us with the story behind the attempts at enforcement, the political wrangling that went on behind the scenes, the directors and screenwriters who became masters of out in the open concealment, and personal prejudices that emerged and promoted finger pointing accusations As Hollywood becomes proficient in bending the rules, extreme measures are taken to protect the public through organizations such as the Legion of Decency and, ultimately, the enforcement of a mandatory Production Code It is an intriguing story This would be a wonderfully amusing and gossipy read if it wasn t for the tragedy of camera negatives being cut resulting in permanently lost footage and, in some cases, entire motion pictures being lost The reportedly hilarious CONVENTION CITY being intentionally destroyed even the negative because it ran afoul of the Code and the producer was tired of fending off rental requests is truly disheartening In addition to the story it tells, there are two other huge rewards for the reader The first is a collection of frame worthy photographs These are rich illustrations from the movies they represent, beautifully presented It reminded me of looking through a photo album The second reward is a description of what was cut from many of the films and, as a treat for film fans, what was rediscovered and restored There are multiple mentions of Turner Classic Movies being responsible for restored prints, creating an invaluable service Narratives such as this one can often be a dry collection of facts That is not the case with this book The story is fascinating, and I always looked forward to continuing my reading and enjoying the remarkable photographs I cannot recommend this book too highly It is a definite treasure


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