East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Forbidden Hollywood

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Having mentioned the Hays Code in my previous post(*), I thought I’ll suggest you a book on the subject – because we talk about books in this place, right?
And because I like old movies, and I like reading about old movies.

Sponsored by Turner Classic Movies and published by Running Press, Mark A. Vieira’s Forbidden Hollywood is a wide and deep survey of the pre-Code era productions – when Tinseltown was reckless and shameless… or something like that.

As you can see from the cover (don’t get distracted by Harlow’s charms), the book covers the 1931-1934 period, and as you can imagine because of Harlow’s charms on the cover, it’s illustrated with dozens of beautiful black and white photographs. It also has tons of period documents, to give you a nice overview of what was happening, and how it influenced the development of the medium.

This is a great read for lovers of classic movies, and while it’s certainly a great book to have in hard-copy, it can be bought real cheap as an ebook.

Vieira also edited a big selection on film noir, Into the Dark, that is a fun read but is not as good – and the omission of two of my favorite noirs really really baffled me. But it’s a fun read, and it features some stunning stills – once again, it can be bought real cheap as an ebook, and it’s a good, if biased, starting point for anyone interested in learning more about noir movies.

I still love a good black and white movie, and while I wait for them to come up on my streaming services, reading about them is almost as fun.

(*) Well, not, actually – it’s in my NEXT post.
What happened was, the post scheduled for this afternoon was postponed to tomorrow morning because of the sudden death of Diana Rigg taking precedence.
But because my memory is like a sieve, I forgot to reschedule this post.
So here you have it – part two before part one.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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