List of pre-Code films

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Pre-Code Hollywood is the era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound (talkies) in the late 1920s[1] and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code (Hays Code) censorship guidelines. Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor and it did not become effectively enforced until July 1, 1934. Before that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws, negotiations between the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) and the major studios, and popular opinion than strict adherence to the Hays Code, which was often ignored by Hollywood filmmakers.

The criterion for inclusion on this list is the direct mention or discussion of the film as pre-Code in a mainstream source.







A screen shot from the trailer for 1932's Murders in the Rue Morgue. The ape Erik enters Camille's room, with the shadow of his hand appearing over her head. What follows has been dubbed "interspecies miscegenation" by film historian Thomas Doherty.[6]


Barbara Stanwyck in the trailer for the 1933 film Baby Face. Movies in the Pre-Code era were frequently marketed with suggestive tag lines like this one for a picture in which Stanwyck sleeps her way up the corporate ladder of a New York bank.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ LaSalle (2002). pg.1
  2. ^ a b Doherty. pg. 255
  3. ^ Doherty. pg. 193
  4. ^ Doherty. pg. 254
  5. ^ a b c Doherty. pg. 297
  6. ^ Doherty. pg. 305
  7. ^ Doherty. pg. 269
  8. ^ a b c Doherty. pg. 298
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Doherty. pg. 132
  10. ^ a b Doherty. pg. 253
  11. ^ a b Doherty. pg. 257
  12. ^ a b c d Vieira. pg. 130
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Vieira. pg. 133
  14. ^ a b Vieira. pg. 131
  15. ^ Doherty. pg. 27


  • Doherty, Thomas Patrick. Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press 1999. ISBN 0-231-11094-4
  • Jacobs, Lea. The Wages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film, 1928-1942. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press 1997 ISBN 0-520-20790-4
  • Jeff, Leonard L, & Simmons, Jerold L. The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code. The University Press of Kentucky 2001 ISBN 0-8131-9011-8
  • LaSalle, Mick. Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood. New York: St. Martin's Press 2000 ISBN 0-312-25207-2
  • LaSalle, Mick. Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man. New York: Thomas Dunne Books 2002 ISBN 0-312-28311-3
  • Leitch, Thomas. Crime Films. Cambridge University Press 2004 ISBN 0-511-04028-8
  • Lewis, Jen. Hollywood V. Hard Core: How the Struggle Over Censorship Created the Modern Film Industry. NYU Press 2002 ISBN 0-8147-5142-3
  • Prince, Stephen. Classical Film Violence: Designing and Regulating Brutality in Hollywood Cinema, 1930-1968. Rutgers University Press 2003 ISBN 0-8135-3281-7
  • Smith, Sarah. Children, Cinema and Censorship: From Dracula to the Dead End Kids. Wiley-Blackwell 2005 ISBN 1-4051-2027-4
  • Vieira, Mark A. Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1999. ISBN 0-8109-8228-5

External links[edit]