Ain't We Got Fun: Pre-Code Hollywood
To outraged moralists of the early 1930s, cinema-going Americans were being led astray by the flaunted vices of Hollywood's debauched libertines. Nevertheless, audiences lined up at the box office for risqué tales of criminal schemes, sexual imbroglios, and alcohol-fueled revelry. While the studios attempted to calm their sanctimonious judges by adopting a set of standards known as the Hays Code, the pre-code films retain a refreshing blast of the licentious, as celebrated by a new series at the Heights Theater, Ain't We Got Fun? Pre-Code Hollywood. See the irresistible Barbra Stanwyck seduce her way to the top of the business world in the uncensored Baby Face (1933). Witness Mae West, queen of innuendo, undo king of cool Cary Grant in I'm No Angel (1933) and She Done Him Wrong (1933). Watch con artists lure Olympic athletes into showing skin for the sake of "fitness" in Search for Beauty (1934). Marvel at the musical productions, swing arrangements, and choreographed legs of Murder at the Vanities (1934) and 42nd Street (1932). Or indulge in the anarchic fun of the Marx Brothers in Animal Crackers (1930) before trailing the Girls About Town (1931) as they attempt to ensnare a big spender. Though still considered the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood has yet to throw a party to rival the glorious irreverence of those pre-code years. $8. Mondays, check www.take-up.org for showtimes. (Pictured: Baby Face)
Feb. 3-March 3, 2014
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