Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
**** (out of 4)
Another brilliant documentary from Turner Classic Movies. This one deals with Hollywood from 1930-1934 when movies pushed the limits on sex, drugs and various sinful things. The film talks about how two Priests came up with the "rules" of what you could or couldn't do and then talks about Hollywood broke all of them and tried to push the limits of what you could show. The Hayes Code finally broke through in 1934 when the Catholic Church jumped in and started boycotting the films and telling their followers that it was a sin to watch these movies. John Landis, Jonathan Kuntz, Leonard Maltin, Rudy Behlmer, Hugh Hefner and Jack Valenti are among the people interviewed for this film, which does a great job at telling the story of the Pre-Code movies. We get clips from countless films including The Divorcée, Night Nurse, The Public Enemy, Midnight Mary and various others. These types of documentaries still upset me since a religious group or a group of people can have so much control on what others do. Needless to say, the Catholic Church should have been looking in their own closet instead of going after Hollywood. Some of the early history is also talked about and this includes the scandal caused by Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle and his rape trial. If you aren't familiar with this great part of Hollywood history then this film does a great job at introducing it. Complicated Women is another Turner doc that covers this era.
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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