Bright Lights Film Journal

A Gallery of Pre-Code Women: 1932 (It Was a Very Good Year)

Ann Dvorak in The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932)

The term Pre-Code, or phrase “Pre-Code Hollywood,” refers to “the era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound in the late 1920s and the enforcement of the Hays Code, which went into effect on July 1, 1934. Until that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws and public opinion than adherence to the United States Motion Picture Production Code of 1930, which generally was ignored by Hollywood filmmakers.” ((“Pre-Code Hollywood,” Wikipedia (26 August 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Code_Hollywood [28 August 2009]).

Billie Dove and Marion Davies in Blondie of the Follies (1932)

Clara Bow in Call Her Savage (1932)

Norma Shearer vamping for photographer George Hurrell

Conrad Nagel and Virginia Bruce in Kongo (1932)

Tallulah Bankhead in Faithless (1932)

Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus (1932)