Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood
In the spring of 1934, Hollywood faced what the Los Angeles Times called "the most serious crisis of its history." The film capital was under siege by censorship advocates who launched a boycott, demanding that the film industry enforce the Production Code it had adopted in 1930. For nearly five years, defiant producers had cited artistic freedom and flouted the Code, which forbade vulgarity, profanity, nudity, excessive violence, illegal drugs, adultery, "sex perversion," "white slavery," racial mingling, "lustful kissing," and suggestive dancing. In July 1934, the controversial films were outlawed. Today they are called "pre-Code."
Sin in Soft Focus showcases a scintillating era in film history and tells how filmmakers sidestepped the Code.
Mark A. Vieira draws on extensive research, interviews, and correspondence in the Production Code Administration files to tell the engaging, suspenseful, and often humorous story of the struggle between Hollywood and its reformers, weaving history, politics, and film into a full-blooded narrative. Illustrated with 275 film stills, many of them rare, the book captures the stunning visual artistry of the era.