2.5/10
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17 user 11 critic

Sex Madness (1938)

Not Rated | | Drama | 28 April 1938 (USA)
Philanthropist Paul Lorenz is one of the more public faces in the fight against behavior that spreads the many "social diseases", such as syphilis and gonorrhea. An example of such behavior... See full summary »

Director:

Dwain Esper
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivian McGill Vivian McGill ... Millicent Hamilton
Rose Tapley ... Mrs. Hamilton
Al Rigali Al Rigali ... Mr. Hamilton
Mark Daniels ... Wendel Hope (as Stanley Barton)
Linda Lee Hill Linda Lee Hill ... Sheila Wayne
Ruth Edell Ruth Edell ... Mrs. Fay
Charles Olcott Charles Olcott ... Paul Lorenz
Ed Redding Ed Redding ... Dr. Hampton
Pat Lawrence Pat Lawrence ... Tom Lorenz
Allen Tower Allen Tower ... Dr. Harris (as Allan Tower)
Richard Bengali Richard Bengali ... Mr. Maynard
William Blake William Blake ... Dr. Grenoble
Frank Howsen Frank Howsen ... Dr. Bayard
Allan Lee Allan Lee ... Mr. Winthrop
Jean Temple Jean Temple ... Mrs. Winthrop
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Storyline

Philanthropist Paul Lorenz is one of the more public faces in the fight against behavior that spreads the many "social diseases", such as syphilis and gonorrhea. An example of such behavior is going to or performing in burlesque shows, which promotes casual sex. Indeed, many in the audience at one burlesque show in New York have only sex on their mind, including young unmarried couple James and Jane, office colleagues Peggy and Betty (Peggy who is trying to seduce Betty), and Paul Lorenz's son himself, Tom Lorenz, who is looking forward to an after show group sex party, which will include some of the girls from the show, such as Sheila Wayne, who has syphilis but treats it as casually as her sex. One of the show girls who won't be attending the party is Millicent Hamilton. From a small town, good girl Millicent's pre-engagement to her boyfriend Wendel Hope was interrupted when she won a beauty contest with a trip to New York. She found life in New York more difficult than she expected... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Protect your daughters!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Human Wreckage See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema Service Corp. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Millicent is talking to her landlady, the window in the background falls shut. This distracts the actress, who nearly flubs her line. See more »

Crazy Credits

In versions titled "They Must Be Told" all the opening credits, even the title, are preceded by the following explanation: "FOREWORD: Down through the ages has rushed a menace more dangerous than the worst criminal. Syphilis. Let us seize this monster and stamp out forever its horrible influence. Syphilis must no longer play its deadly part in our lives preventing marriages ... breaking up families ... and resulting in innocent offspring born blind, diseased and maimed ... doomed to a life of misery. The subject of syphilis must no longer remain hushed, but must be fought in the open like any other dangerous contagious disease ... humanity must be enlightened! Ignorance must be abolished! Young and old ... rich and poor ... " See more »

Connections

Featured in Midnight Movie Madness: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
you can't marry if you have syphilis
24 October 2003 | by ethylesterSee all my reviews

At first it was good, but then it got boring. I really loved the burlesque show. It was so great. I wish there were still shows like this now. Men getting turned on by girls in big feathered hats and sequin leotards jumping around with big grins on their faces seem a little less threatening than those who want genitals of women they've never met before shoved in their faces. Sorry to be so graphic, but the movie makes you realize how drastically sex shows have changed.

That is really the main part of the movie that caught my attention. The film does have valid points about how you shouldn't have a kid if you have syphilis. And you shouldn't have sex if you have it either. However, the whole idea of someone with this disease being forbid by their doctor to get married seemed a little strange to me. Plus the main woman was in cloud nine the whole as if the whole world was either completely wonderful or completely horrible.

I also thought the point about the "quacks" was interesting because it's harder today to figure out if a doctor is a quack since we have such a high rate of suing for malpractice. A doctor today might push some unnecessary pills on you so that s/he will get some money from the drug company, but they would never go so far as to guarantee you are cured of syphilis and can now freely have sex with people when you actually weren't cured at all. That's just bogus. I'm glad that doesn't happen anymore.

Watch this movie to see how drastically times have changed but also to educate yourself about this disease. It's the only thing that hasn't changed.


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