Making the collar and cuffs match : women in pre-code cinema

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Authors
Zhao, Sonia
Issue Date
2013
Degree
BA (Hons) in Film, Literature and Drama
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
The main objective of my Final Year Project is to unveil the impact of women and sexuality in cinema during the Pre-code era of film, from 1930 to 1934. The freedom that women in American society were allowed in the 1920‘s made a tremendous and tumultuous mark on media, specifically cinema. Sex, violence, adultery, unconventional living and the use of alcohol and drugs, were glamorised on the silver screen and idolised by many. The creation of The Motion Picture Production Code was introduced in order to curb such indecencies in film, headed primarily by the church. After its enforcement in 1934, women were no longer able to express their darkest desires and independence on screen. I will be investigating the churches input as well as why these women were considered so unruly and immoral, in relation to cultural context. I will also strive to breakdown how these women were treated in cinema after 1934, tying in feminism and the popularity of the pre-code‘s resurgence in the 1980‘s. Ultimately, my conclusion should lead me to explain how the female characterisation in film during these short 5 years are not sinful, but symbolic of a progressive society and feminist role models.