19 February 2013 9:00 PM, PST | Village Voice | See recent Village Voice news »

The year 1933, available to sample into March during Film Forum's appealing 66-film program, was Hollywood's last risqué hurrah before the Production Code put its stranglehold on film output for decades to come.

Political corruption, killings, predator bosses, vigilante solutions, and oodles of undies still featured prominently on American screens. Prison dramas had also been a thriving film sub-genre ever since Frances Marion won an Oscar for writing MGM's The Big House two years before. Michael Curtiz's 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, shown this Tuesday, is a powerful film, and Spencer Tracy's breakthrough performance as convict Tommy Connors cannot be ignored, but reformer warden Lewis E. Lawes, on whose book the movie was based, weighed on the production »


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