Currently Enrolling – Film Studies Class

Postwar Hollywood: Highlights of American Cinema 1945-1990

Pre-code, Post-code, and Movie Censorship

Cinema experienced a boon in popularity in 1930. It was a tumultuous time as people flocked to the theaters to forget their troubles. The struggles of the depression and the birth of talking pictures created a new level of popularity — and a heightened level of scrutiny. Hollywood brought in the former postmaster general, the meek Will Hayes to oversee movie morality and control movie content. He was unsuccessful in controlling movies until the hammer finally came down in April 1934. The notorious pre-code period lasted only a few years, from 1930 to 1934. This brief period saw lots of films that explored these tabu subjects with gleeful joy.

Here is a tentative list of some films being considered for this class:

  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) Mervyn LeRoy
  • 42nd Street (1933) Lloyd Bacon
  • Baby Face (1933) Alfred E. Green
  • Beggars of Life (1929) William A. Wellman
  • Blonde Venus (1932) Josef von Sternberg
  • Call Her Savage (1932) John Francis Dillon
  • Design for Living (1933) Ernst Lubitsch, Ben Hecht
  • Girls About Town (1931) George Cukor
  • Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) Mervyn LeRoy
  • It Happened One Night (1934) Frank Capra
  • Jewel Robbery (1932) William Dieterle
  • Little Caesar (1930) Mervyn LeRoy
  • Love Is a Racket (1932) William A. Wellman
  • M (1931) Fritz Lang
  • Merrily We Go To Hell (1932) Dorothy Arzner
  • Night Nurse (1931) William A. Wellman
  • Our Dancing Daughters (1928) Harry Beaumont
  • Safe in Hell (1931) William A. Wellman
  • Scarface (1932) Howard Hawks
  • The Blue Angel (1930) Josef von Sternberg
  • The Divorcee (1930) Robert Z. Leonard
  • The Public Enemy (1931) William A. Wellman
  • Trouble in Paradise (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
  • Why Be Good? (1929) William A. Seiter
  • Wild Boys of the Road (1933) William A. Wellman

Arrangements for viewing the films will be through a private secure streaming service.

There are no additional costs for accessing the films.

Eight Weekly Classes: 1/9/2024 - 2/27/2024

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