n°226/ Pre-Code Hollywood

June 2016

by Nathalie Azoulai

In a 1933 Lubitsch’s movie, Design For Living, ravishing beauty Miriam Hopkins lays on a bed with her two flirting lovers (Fredric March and Gary Cooper) and a very low-cut and thin-strapped glittering gown, that would hardly resist a light draught. That was one year ago the Hays Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced in the United States. In 1934, among the coercive guidelines enacted, one should not show any longer either« a man and a woman in bed together », nor « any suggestive nudity » or « any inference of sex perversion ». Three principles totally swept away by this very bold threesome iconic Jules&Jim will only reinvent some thirty years later.

 Ernst Lubitsch

 Jules & Jim