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    • crime
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    • pre code
    | July 25, 2016, 11:58 p.m.
    The Criminal Code released in 1931 beat the Hays Code enforcement by a good three years. Cinema in pre-code America was free to be fully amoral and give a frank assessment of modern culture. Howard Hawks always made you feel like he was getting away with something. He was an especially clever, even mischievous, filmmaker in an era where the ink hadn’t quite dried on the rules of filmmaking. His precode work displayed precious little respect for the very institutions that would be lauded without question in the decades hence. In The Criminal Code, the legal system is given
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    • pre code
    | Aug. 12, 2017, 4:09 p.m.
    The synopsis for Night Nurse hangs over it like a dense fog. Certainly it reads like a candidate for the bleakest film of any era: an unproven nurse is pitted against a thug chauffeur who sees a ways to riches through starving a couple of children to death and claiming their inheritance. The thug chauffeur? None other than Clark Gable looking more like Boris Karloff’s evil twin than Rhett Butler. But Night Nurse is an incredibly balanced film, indeed duality is a major theme throughout. Even if after years of “realistic” and “gritty” features, Hollywood still hews to morals