Prudes and the faint-of-heart shield your eyes! The stunning Sin in Soft Focus
contains some of the most breathtaking black-and-white stills ever taken, all from the debaucherous decade before the Hollywood production code was established. With chapters devoted to "The Warners Grit," "The MGM Gloss," and "The Paramount Glow," and to horror films, gangster movies, and the sexy scandal of Mae West, Mark A. Vieira illustrates the story of classic Hollywood's most delightfully lascivious period--brought to a stop when Joseph Breen began enforcing the puritanical production code of 1934.
The text of this book is fascinating even for those familiar with the films of the era, but the mesmerizing photographs are what will keep readers glued to the pages. Oversized and abundant stills capture stars like Clara Bow, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, William Powell, Mae West, Joan Blondell, James Cagney, and Greta Garbo in striking clarity, dashing poses, and of course, shockingly revealing outfits. Voyeurs seeking more on this naughty era will also want to read Thomas Doherty's Pre-Code Hollywood. --Raphael Shargel
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Showcasing the "pre-Code Hollywood" era, this is an account of the making of films between March 1930, when the film industry adopted the Production Code, and July 1934, 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. Illustrated with film stills and production shots, the book captures the 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.