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Barb1111  (Level: 101.9 - Posts: 215)
Mon, 8th Sep '08 9:54 PM

BABY FACE (1933)

I am a really big fan of Barbara Stanwyck's and last month TCM had a day devoted to her movies. One of my favorites was made before the Code was instituted when movies were really risque and dealt with issues that wouldn't be seen in films until the 1960's.

This movie is about how a woman uses her sexuality to climb the ladder of success. It also stars a very young John Wayne as one of her jilted lovers.
Of course some of the dialogue is corny but this film is a great example of what is now called Forbidden Hollywood.

There is also another really great example in a film called Three On A Match starring Bette Davis and Joan Blondell. The film depicts drug use, alcoholism and child neglect. All the things that finally drove the censors to create a code that movies had to adhere to in order to get the seal of approval.

Jsterling03  (Level: 65.8 - Posts: 19)
Wed, 19th Nov '08 11:41 AM

I'm still trying to convince myself that I saw what I saw! "Baby Face", even by today's standards, is scandalous. What shouldn't be lost here, is just how good Barbara Stanwyck is in this film. It could've been a real piece of trash, but Stanwyck puts a beautiful human face on the proceedings, and at times makes one feel sympathy for her character's plight. No mean feat considering what she does!

"Three on a Match" is also wickedly good, yet compared to "Baby Face" it seems pretty tame. Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis both appear, but I didn't feel either of their performances indicated the stardom they would both achieve. One of my favorite character actors, Edward Arnold, shows up during the last reel to add a strange spin on a strange story.

These films and other pre-code nastiness are available on TCM's excellent "Forbidden Cinema" collection. I highly recommend seeking out these DVDs, and I send my thanks to Barb for turning me on to these all but forgotten "classics"!

Bobolicios  (Level: 116.8 - Posts: 1745)
Thu, 9th Apr '09 10:31 PM

Thanks so much for info. I love all 30's and 40's hidden gems. Like the"Divorcee" although much touted on TCM now. Went un-noticed or censored due to subject matter. I adore old movies before the censors got them. Film Noir or whatever you call them. Of couse I also love old sentimental ones, like, "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" wow they don't make em like that anymore!

Gyglygirl  (Level: 25.8 - Posts: 2)
Sat, 26th Sep '09 2:44 AM

i agree, pre-code hollywood was so racy it made me blush. the outfits were skimpy, the dialogue was naughty and the plots were scandalous. i really enjoy watching these movies including the silents. i'd love to see more movies made about how the movie business began. that would be interesting.

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