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...
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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 performing in or attending burlesque shows, which promote casual sex. Indeed, many in the audience at one burlesque show in New York have only sex on their minds, including young unmarried couple James and Jane, office colleagues Peggy and Betty (Peggy is trying to seduce Betty), and Paul Lorenz's own son Tom, who is anticipating an aftershow group-sex party that will include some of the girls from the show, such as Sheila Wayne, who has syphilis but treats it as casually as her sexual encounters. Her fellow showgirl Millicent Hamilton will not be at the party. Millicent was once a small-town girl who was planning to marry her beau, Wendel Hope, until she won a beauty contest. Her prize was a trip to New York, but she found life there more difficult than she expected, and a sexual encounter ...Written by
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 »
Syphilis can drive you insane. So can the boredom created by movies like this.
I dipped into my Mill Creek Cult Classics DVD set this weekend because I was bored. Really, I could have found something better to do (honestly, I was too tired to give anything real my attention). These movies should not really be labeled Cult Classics, but rather "Goofy Old Propaganda Films That Are Mostly Terrible and Which You Don't Really Need to See - Knowing That They Existed Is More Than Enough." I suppose that'd be a bit wordy, though. And it really doesn't help that the quality is abysmal. Obviously, nobody cared enough to preserve these films, but I really wonder what Reefer Madness would look like in high definition. Sex Madness is a pure propaganda film which wants to warn its audience about the dangers of syphilis and other "social diseases." You have to wonder if anyone in 1938 actually plunked down a nickel to see films like this. The film basically consists of a doctor telling a skank that she has contracted syphilis, and what that entails. The authority figures of the film declare that people need to be more honest about sex, but what their honesty amounts to is shouting "keep your damn legs shut or you'll get sores! This is what they look like. Aren't they gross?" Its second piece of advice is probably more helpful: people with syphilis or other VDs need to see a real doctor, and not some quack. I'll bet that, in their embarrassment, the syphilitic would often turn to more discreet, illegal doctors (there's probably some implied abortion there, too). The film is, of course, a total bore, and it looks like crud.
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