Internet Archive notes: This is a typical sex exploitation film from the early 1930s - complete with wild parties, sex out of wedlock, lesbianism, etc. A chorus girl's exposure to the "casting couch" also exposes her to syphilis. Exploitation filmmakers hoped to capitalize on the taboo subjects of venereal disease, sex before marriage, lesbianism, etc. while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 which forbade a film from containing such content. Films like this would tour the United States for years - mostly being shown in rundown, skid row theaters. This film has been re-edited and re-titled ("Human Wreckage", "They Must Be Told", "Trial Marriage", "About Trial Marriage") many times to attract the same audience to film, to take advantage of a taboo subject which may have gotten press recently or to appease local censors who disapproved of the film's content. You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
Also, if you are interested in the rich, uniquely American history of exploitation films, there are two excellent books on the subject:
"Forbidden Fruit - The Golden Age of the Exploitation Film", Felicia Feaster and Bret Wood, Midnight Marquee Press, 1999.
"Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919 - 1959" Eric Schaefer, Duke University Press, 1999
This movie is part of the collection: Feature Films
Director: William Curran
Production Company: Cinema Service Corp.
Audio/Visual: sound, b&w
Keywords: exploitation; melodrama
Reefer Madness (1938) - Notes from Internet Archive: Considered THE archetypal sensationalized anti-drug movie, but it's really an exploitation film made to capitalize on the hot taboo subject of marijuana use. Like many exploitation films of the time, "Reefer Madness" tried to make a quick buck off of a forbidden subject while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. The Code forbade the portrayal of immoral acts like drug use. (The illegal drug traffic must not be portrayed in such a way as to stimulate curiosity concerning the use of, or traffic in, such drugs; nor shall scenes be approved which show the use of illegal drugs, or their effects, in detail.)
The film toured around the country for many years - often being re-edited and re-titled ("Tell Your Children", "Dope Addict", "Doped Youth", "Love Madness", "The Burning Question"). It was re-discovered in the early 1970s by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and screened again as an example of the government's demonization of marijuana. NORML may have been confused about the film's sponsorship since one of the film's distributors, Dwain Esper, testified to the Arizona Supreme Court that "Reefer Madness" was not a trashy exploitation film but was actually sponsored by the U.S. Government - a convincing lie, but a lie nonetheless.
That being said, the film is still quick enjoyable since it dramatizes the "violent narcotic's ... soul destroying" effects on unwary teens, and their hedonistic exploits enroute to the bottom.
Two astronauts, accompanied by their robot, set out to explore the surface of Venus. Things seem to be going well until violent changes begin to rework the surface. Will they be able to escape the planet with their lives? This film is also known as "Prehistoric Planet" and "Voyage to a Prehistoric Planet".
This film began life as a Soviet-produced work. An American producer then added some new footage and changed the credits to hide the film's Soviet origin. The original film, "Planeta Bur", is also known as "Cosmonauts on Venus", "Planet of Storms", "Planet of Tempests", "Planeta Burg", and "Storm Planet".
You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
Producer: George Edwards
Director: Curtis Harrington (as John Sebastian)
Writer: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Faith Domergue, John Bix
Audio/Visual: mono, color
Keywords: 1960s; Soviet Union; space
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