Presenting Issue #6 of The Pre-Code Companion
October 4, 2016
Over one year ago, on September 1, 2015, the first issue of The Pre-Code Companion was released. I was honored to have had an opportunity to contribute to that inaugural publication, as well as Issue #4, which came out this past February. Now, I'm excited to announce that I'm back at it again! Issue #6 was released a little over a month ago, but since I've been traveling a bit over the past few weeks, I'm just now getting around to writing about it.
My friend Danny from pre-code.com came up with the idea for this bi-monthly journal. He edits each issue and even pens articles himself sometimes, though it looks like he's taking a well-deserved writing break from this particular installment.
My piece in Issue #1 focused on the censorship battle of 1933's Baby Face, which, conveniently, happened to be the subject of my undergrad thesis. Not gonna lie, the 90 pages of writing and months of archival research that I completed years prior made that article a bit easier for me to write, or, more accurately, re-edit.
In Issue #4, I started from scratch with 1933's Midnight Mary, a picture I was barely familiar with but had heard positive things about. I followed similar steps with Issue #6's piece, which focuses on 1932's Jewel Robbery, though the journey differed slightly, because I've seen (and enjoyed) the sparkling Jewel Robbery several times, and it's a far cry from the dark dramatics at play in both Baby Face and Midnight Mary.
That last bit of info - the humor part - made my research in the film's Production Code Administration (PCA) file at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library rather surprising, to say the least. Since I wrapped my investigation into Jewel Robbery's censorship background, I've had the chance to delve into a few more comedy case files, several of which align quite closely with the attitude I encountered in Jewel Robbery's correspondence. I won't go into many details here, except to repeat something I've shared previously, the gist of which you can grasp without having seen the film: while researching, I kept thinking that the members of the SRC (Studio Relations Committee) and MPPDA who were discussing and reviewing Jewel Robbery must have been passing around cigarettes from The Robber's special pack.
(As always, special thanks to the staff at the Margaret Herrick Library for their assistance in accessing the Jewel Robbery PCA file in the library's Special Collections.)
Another solid cover design by Danny Reid.
Issue #6 covers three films, two actresses, and one actor from the Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume Four DVD set, with articles penned by yours truly and five other fantastic writers. Here's the rundown:
Kay Francis - Molly Bugamelli
Lawyer Man - Jake Woehlke
William Powell - Lesley Gaspar
Man Wanted - Cliff Apilerti
Claire Dodd - Kendahl Cruver
Pick up your copy today on Amazon.com HERE for $2.99! As always, all proceeds go to ASPCA.
If you feel so inclined to take a gander at the previous five issues, below are very handy links to purchase, and, you know, support animals in the process: