Morality and the Code: A How-To Manual for Hollywood (2006)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Lincoln Hurst, Frank Miller, Martin Scorsese, Michael Madsen, Anthony Slide, Rick Jewell, Eric Lax, Talia Shire, Haden Guest, Robert Evans, Theresa Russell and Irwin Winkler are just a few of the names who are interviewed in this 20-minute featurette that takes a look at the production code in Hollywood during the 1930s. This documentary does a pretty good job at explaining what stuff was going on before and after Will Hays took office and decided to lay the hammer down on Hollywood. We get several examples of pre-code material from films like THE PUBLIC ENEMY and then we see how things were turned down in movies like DUST BE MY DESTINY. The film historians do a very nice job at explaining why this code was put into place and why Bank of America had a major part to do with it. If you're already familiar with the code then it's doubtful you're going to learn anything new here and especially if you've seen earlier documentaries on the code. If you're new to the entire pre-code thing then this here will give you a good idea of what was expected in order to have a "clean" movie. With so many people being interviewed in such a short time, many of them just get one or two clips at the most and this includes Scorsese.
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