Vitaphone Pre-Code Follies
In 1934, Hollywood instigated the infamous "Motion Picture Production Code" which clearly defined what could, and, more famously, what could not be shown in the movies: no nudity, no swearing, no licentious behavior - even married couples had to be depicted as sleeping in separate beds and no kiss could last longer than three seconds.
But in the wilder and woollier early days of talking pictures, the morals and the depiction of "vice" on the big screen were much less rigid. Most musicals from before 1935 featured dancing girls showing a considerable amount of skin, and the songs (as well as the plots) of the period had a lot more allusion to sin.
This compilation features 19 musical numbers from the years 1929-1934, representing the best that the early talkies had to offer: the biggest stars, the greatest tunes, the most exciting performances. They cover a wide range of musical styles, but they all have one thing in common none of them could have been produced after 1934. (As the program shows, these elements were even present in cartoons of the period, especially those starring the animated flapper Betty Boop.) There are rampant references to drug use and alcohol abuse, references to prostitution, even depictions of homosexual behavior all elements that would not be seen again in mainstream Hollywood cinema until the 1970s.
Vitaphone Pre-Code Follies takes its title from the early sound process utilized to make the first talking pictures. This 90 minute compilation also features all of the leading stars of the early talkie era, some of the earliest efforts of the iconic director and choreographer Busby Berkeley, as well as more than a few classic songs that went on to become popular standards. Taking a cue from the major Broadway shows of the era, the program is organized in the form of a revue, with one terrific production number after another. It's our hope that Vitaphone Pre-Code Follies will be enjoyed by seasoned film buffs as well as by younger audiences who might have never before been exposed to the fun and excitement of early movie musicals.
VITAPHONE PRE-CODE FOLLIES
Near-Naked Chorus Girls!
Hot-cha-Razz Ma Tazz!
featuring the talents of (among others) :
Sammy Davis Jr.
The Three Stooges
plus Betty Boop & the genius of Busby Berkeley
Free Event. No Drink minimum. The bar will not be open.
Stage 72 / THE TRIAD NYC (View)
158 WEST 72ND STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10023