A whole lotta tomato.
Pick your hyperbole, the fact is that 1930s cinema were full of that most suggestive of appendages in a way never quite paralleled since.
Sure, they’re still everywhere because they’re still sexy. They’ve always been sexy– ever since skirts first hiked heavenward in the late 20s straight through to today. But never quite this sexy. Perhaps for the fact that the definition of “sexy” is dependent upon the word “suggestive.” Today, sex on film is hardly suggestive. It is blatant, forthright, overpowering, and leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.
These shots? They leave everything to the imagination.
Wherein the real power lies…
This post is not meant to spark any sort of debate on feminism v. femininity v. sexism … although I’m always game for it.
And since the fundamental core of feminism is the freedom of female CHOICE, I choose to see the following images, not as sexual exploitation, but rather as strong, working women, embracing their newly won sexuality.
And, largely unknown to them, so deeply changing the game in the process.
7 thoughts on “Pre-Code Gams and Dams(els).”
Some great photos here! Sexy IS suggestive. Never blatant! A quote attributed to Sophia Loren: “Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got”.
AWSOME!!, VERY PERFECT, VERY BEAUTIFUL!! in a special way!! My regards and my best wishes to you, thanks for sharing your wonderful job!!
Oh my, legs galore, and aren’t they lovely. On this, the day of Marlene Dietrich’s “Summer Under the Stars” 24-hours on TCM, I thought a nod to her shapely pre-code legs would be timely – from “Morocco” (’30): http://youtu.be/Xr3mffCCY8A
Her legs seemed to become only more gorgeous with time…
I cannot emphasise enough how much I love this post, and your prose about the sexiness of what is suggested, not shown in lurid detail. Fabulous blog, by the way!
Watching a bunch of Pre-Codes, it’s quickly obvious how appreciated gams were. I’ve watched about 50 so far for my blog, and I’ve toyed with the idea of keeping track of how many times the camera pans up and down the legs of a shapely lady. The only thing stopping that is that just happens too often!
To the power of the female leg!
Here’s a publicity still of Carole Lombard with John Barrymore from “Twentieth Century” that the Breen office suppressed — but whether it was because of the sheer expanse of exposed Lombard leg or the hint of a nipple, I’m not entirely sure…
I don’t think it was either or. I think it was the expanse of leg, the hint of nipple, AND the fact that they are lying down. Together.