Made between 1930, when the restrictive Production Code was adopted, and 1934, when it was in full effect, “pre-Code” films are beloved for their provocative content and risqué style. A Sunday double-bill screening program devoted to pre-Code films is hosted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The afternoon begins at one p.m. with an illustrated presentation by historian Kimberly Truhler. The films, both in 35 mm prints, start at 2.
First up is OUR BLUSHING BRIDES (1930), with choreography by dance-film pioneer, Albertina Rasch. The conclusion of the trilogy that began with OUR DANCING DAUGHTERS and OUR MODERN MAIDENS, this drama stars Joan Crawford, Anita Page and Dorothy Sebastian as three young women trying to make a good life in Manhattan. Geraldine (Crawford) weds the wealthy Tony (Robert Montgomery) after he realizes that is the only way he will get her into his bed. Francine (Sebastian) marries thief Martin J. Sanderson (John Miljan) in the mistaken belief that her groom is a millionaire. And Connie (Page) weakens to temptation and becomes the mistress of Tony’s younger brother (Raymond Hackett). Will they become blushing brides or girls without blushes?
Then, glory be, on the huge screen of the Egyptian, FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933), choreographed by Busby Berkeley at Warner Bros. When the Depression forces a director (James Cagney) off the stage, he tries the screen, creating musical “prologues” to be staged in movie theaters before films; to land a big contract, he must mount three massive production numbers in a single night. Cagney is magnetic and Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell are equally entertaining in supporting roles.
All three numbers, “Shanghai Lil” (pictured below), “By a Waterfall,” and “The Honeymoon Hotel” must viewing on the big screen.
The Style of Sin: Pre-Code film with Kimberly Truhler, Joan Crawford & Joan Blondell Double Feature | Art Deco Society | Egyptian Theatre | Sun Dec 8