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Complicated Women (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  6 May 2003 (USA)
7.7
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A look at actresses who starred in films with thought-provoking subjects made between 1929-1934 - before the Hollywood Production Code was enforced.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Herself - Narrator (voice)
Frances Dee ...
Herself
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Herself - Interviewee (as Kitty Carlisle Hart)
Molly Haskell ...
Herself - Interviewee
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Himself - Interviewee
Mae Madison ...
Herself - Interviewee
Karen Morley ...
Herself - Interviewee
Mark Vieira ...
Himself - Interviewee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself (archive footage)
Robert Barrat ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Jane Fonda narrates the story of the years between the ascent of talkies until late in 1934, when the Hays Office cracked down on what it perceived as immorality in Hollywood movies. The emphasis is on how women were portrayed, and focuses on how they were much more liberated and equal (or superior) to men, until 1935 when they once again took subservient roles to their male co-stars. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Documentary

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Release Date:

6 May 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mujeres liberadas  »

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Connections

Features Faithless (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

By a Waterfall
Written by Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics)
Used by permission of Warner/Chappell Music
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User Reviews

 
The more things change...
19 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent look at women in the pre-Code films. Narrated by Jane Fonda, it is extremely thought-provoking in this age of wardrobe malfunctions, hue and cry over a sexy Paris Hilton commercial, and Nicole Sheridan dropping a towel during a an ad on Super Bowl Sunday.

I found this documentary comforting in a way - 70+ years later, we're still going through all the same stuff we did back then. The way things are going, we'll be back in 1933 before you know it.

Fonda narrates with a lot of expression as she takes the viewer through pre-code movies showing prostitutes, women sleeping their way to the top, menage at trois, bisexuality, abortion, and unfaithful wives. If you're not familiar with movies done before Breen and Hays, this will be a revelation.


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