• Heroes for Sale

“Precode cinema” refers to movies made in Hollywood before middle-American outrage over their licentiousness began to prompt threats of government censorship and forced the studios to institute their own voluntary policing of movies’ content. When people talk about these movies now, they usually focus on sex, but it’s important to remember that the Motion Picture Production Code, adopted in June 1934, covered a wide variety of subjects. Religious figures could not be ridiculed, and the American flag had to be respected. Drug use, interracial relationships, and even childbirth were never to be depicted onscreen.