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This was a Hollywood of loose dames, hot whoopee, and coked-up killers who'd do anything for a pot of jack. It was a world that was often amoral and anarchic--an industry that allowed James Cagney and Paul Muni wild orgies of violence, openly flaunted the sexuality of Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, gave King Kong permission to crush cars and eat people, and allowed Tod Browning to make Freaks, one of the ghastliest, most sensationalistic, and greatest American movies.
Doherty's book captures this mad universe beautifully, describing films in such delightful detail that you may find yourself tossing it on your couch and racing to the video store. He also documents the downfall of the period, the outrage that was leveled against early sound films, and the emerging code that repressed American movies for almost 30 years. Film fans reveling in the debauchery of Hollywood's naughtiest era will also want to see Mark A. Vieira's Sin in Soft Focus. --Raphael Shargel
I'm still astonished a company would even publish this.
Doherty recalls the early films of stars like these, and also remembers actors and actresses unknown to the current generation of filmgoers.
Ironically this role was given to Bankhead who was highly controversial with her notorious, well publicized, out-of-control behavior.
This is a product of fine piece of work done by Brandies University professor Tom Doherty investigating into the history of Hollywood at the height of Great Depression when much of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Rama Rao
If you are searching for that one book to get or give this is the one. Pre-code anything will get you something that will be not only interesting, but vital to that era.Published 19 months ago by Commando Big
I appreciate great writing, that adjusts to the flow of presented material, gliding through the eye en route to capture... Read morePublished 19 months ago by ZENmud
I thought this book was a complete waste of time. Didn't like the writing, incompetent research, etc. Even the cover is lousy! Read morePublished on July 27, 2009 by K. Anez.
As far as scholarly texts go, I found these essays very entertaining, due to the lively-by-definition subject matter and the engaged perspective of Mr. Doherty. Read morePublished on January 8, 2009 by Jacob Shemkovitz