26 May 2006 | Maleejandra
All the Shock of the Era
Complicated Women is the documentary companion to Mick LaSalle's book about women in the pre-code era. The time from the first talkies through to the enforcement of the Production Code is known as the pre-code era, a great time for movie making. Subjects ranging from marital infidelity, prostitution, abortion, nudity, drug use, and other shocking subjects littered films. The public either loved them or hated them, and thanks to groups like the Catholic Legion of Decency, these subjects were censored. However, this documentary praises these films for their modernity and shows clips from films like The Divorcée, Queen Christina, Downstairs, Torch Singer, Mary Stevens MD, The Smiling Lieutenant, Men in White, Female, A Free Soul, Baby Face, Midnight Mary, The Story of Temple Drake, Red Dust, Faithless, Grand Hotel, Gold Diggers of 1933, Ladies They Talk About, I'm No Angel, Tarzan and His Mate, and more.
The only problem with this documentary is that it skips around a lot. There are headers for each section, but they all begin to blend together.
The film incorporates interviews with many great sources like Mick LaSalle, Molly Haskell, Mark Viera, and several actresses of the era.