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Wages of Sin
by Lea Jacobs
The story of the fallen woman was a staple of film melodrama in the late 1920s and 1930s. In traditional plots, a woman commits a sexual transgression, usually adultery. She becomes an outcast, often a prostitute, suffering humiliations that culminate in her death. In more modern variants, the heroine is a stereotypical "kept woman," "gold digger," or wisecracking shopgirl ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by University of California Press
(first published February 1st 1991)
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Most accounts of Hollywood in the 30s give the impression that up until 1934 movies were more or less uncensored, and that from 1934 onwards the industry’s self-regulatory body, The Production Code Administration, was able to enforce a rigid censorship on movies through its power to withhold its seal of approval (without that seal a film would be effectively cut off from any hope of wide distribution). In The Wages of Sin Lea Jacobs points out that the real situation was somewhat different. Prio ...more
This is my second read, I originally used it as source for a paper I wrote on Fallen Women films. Lots of good information. I especially appreciate the author's work on how the Code and censorship (2 very different things) in general created narrative. Good bibliography.
Case studies on certain controversial films, documenting how the “objectionable” elements in films were identified and changed prior to and during production, and what elements remained controversial after release. Includes Baby Face, Blond Venus, Anna Karenina, Kitty Foyle.