Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man



Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern ManUsing The Same Mix Of Accessibility And Insider Knowledge He Used So Successfully In Complicated Women, Author And Film Critic Mick LaSalle Now Turns His Attention To The Men Of The Pre Code Hollywood Era.The Five Years Between 1929 And Mid 1934 Was A Period Of Loosened Censorship That Finally Ended With The Imposition Of A Harsh Production Code That Would, For The Next Thirty Four Years, Censor Much Of The Life And Honesty Out Of American Movies Dangerous Men Takes A Close Look At The Images Of Manhood During This Pre Code Era, Which Coincided With An Interesting Time For Men The Culmination Of A Generation Long Transformation In The Masculine Ideal By The Late Twenties, The Tumult Of A New Century Had Made The Nineteenth Century S Notion Of The Ideal Man Seem Like A Repressed Stuffed Shirt, A Deluded Optimist The Smiling, Confident Hero Of Just A Few Years Before Fell Out Of Favor, And The New Heroes Who Emerged Were Gangsters, Opportunists, Sleazy Businessmen, Shifty Lawyers, Shell Shocked Soldiers Men Whose Existence Threatened The Status Quo In This Book, LaSalle Highlights Such Household Names As James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G Robinson, Maurice Chevalier, Spencer Tracy, And Gary Cooper, Along With Lesser Known Ones Such As Richard Barthelmess, Lee Tracy, Robert Montgomery, And The Magnificent Warren William Together They Represent A Vision Of Manhood Exuberant And Contentious And Humane Than Anything That Has Followed On The American Screen.

Mick LaSalle is an American film critic and the author of two books on pre code Hollywood As of March 2008 update , he has written in excess of 1550 reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, 1 and he has been podcasting them since September 2005 2 LaSalle is the author of Complicated Women Sex and Power in Pre Code Hollywood, a history critical study of the actresses who worked in the film industry between 1929 1934 It was published by Thomas Dunne Books in 2000 In his review in The New York Times, Andy Webster called it an overdue examination of a historic conflict between Hollywood and would be monitors of morality and added LaSalle has an avuncular but informative style, and makes his points with a relaxed economy 3 The book served as the basis for the documentary film Complicated Women, directed by Hugh Munro Neely and narrated by Jane Fonda, which originally was broadcast by Turner Classic Movies in May 2003 LaSalle provided commentary for and served as Associate Producer of the project 4 LaSalle s follow up to Complicated Women was Dangerous Men Pre Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man, published by Thomas Dunne in 2002.LaSalle has lectured on film subjects at various film festivals, including those in the Hamptons, Denver, Las Vegas, and Mill Valley and at New York City s Film Forum and San Francisco s Castro Theatre For several years he taught a film course at the University of California, Berkeley, and now when teaches film courses at Stanford University.In the late 1990s, LaSalle was the on air film critic for KGO TV He is a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, 5 and was a panelist at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Venice Film Festivals He was also a panelist at the 2009 Berlin film festival In addition to his reviews, he answers film related questions in the Chronicle column Ask Mick LaSalle.

[[ Epub ]] ➟ Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man Author Mick LaSalle – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man
  • Mick LaSalle
  • English
  • 07 December 2018
  • 0312283113

10 thoughts on “Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man

  1. Catherine says:

    This was a fascinating read despite it not being as good as Complicated Women Let s face it the women of the Pre Code era were a hell of a lotinteresting overall simply because what was being done for women was progressive and refreshing in that time They suffered muchof asetback once the Code was enforced because patriarchal ideas were being established again instead of opposed The men are still fascinating though and the book does a great job of going into all the different way This was a fascinating read despite it not being as good as Complicated Women Let s face it the women of the Pre Code era were a hell of a lotinteresting overall simply because what was being done for women was progressive and refreshing in that time They suffered muchof asetback once the Code was enforced because patriarchal ideas were being established again instead of opposed The men are still fascinating though and the book does a great job of going into all the different ways men were being portrayed and how they represented the views of society at that point The shift of preferential male characters from the silent period to the early talkies is delved into quite quickly Old fashioned romantics were no longer wanted Tradition was being rebelled against and was replaced with men who took what they wanted who had a quick talking, shifty, forceful and criminal side to them The author does a great job, even better than he did with Complicated Women in this regard, of discussing the actor s work as well as their private life in ways that were relevant to the types of characters they would play.Hearing about James Cagney was incredible because every time I read any quote from him I just fall in loveThere are so many other actors that I am a fan of that LaSalle goes into What was eveninteresting was when he discussed the actors that are not talked about as often These included Warren William, Lee Tracy and particularly Richard Barthelmess and his constant desire to appear in film what politicized issues he cared about Corrupt businessmen were hated and the underdog was preferred Overall this was a great companion piece to Complicated Women, both of which pay the level of respect that Pre Code film deserves and so rarely gets

  2. Jill Hutchinson says:

    I am a great fan of early film, especially the pre Code era and this book added to my knowledge of the careers of those actors who were at the top of the heap during those days The author offers a plethora of insider information regarding players many of whom are practically forgotten today and provides the reason why some, such as Clark Gable, went on to a long and historic career, and why others, like Ramon Navarro, lost their popularity with the movie audience The tone of pre Code film sui I am a great fan of early film, especially the pre Code era and this book added to my knowledge of the careers of those actors who were at the top of the heap during those days The author offers a plethora of insider information regarding players many of whom are practically forgotten today and provides the reason why some, such as Clark Gable, went on to a long and historic career, and why others, like Ramon Navarro, lost their popularity with the movie audience The tone of pre Code film suited the personalities of actors like Lee Tracy and Warren Williamfast talking, slightly dishonorable and amoral The day of the swooning romantic leading man was over and those actors that could not change their image to meet the changing times faded away This is a fascinating book that is highly recommended for the film buff

  3. Jeri says:

    Even better than Complicated Women, I have to say Maybe because the material isn t so well known Pre Code films and its history are usually about the women, so it was interesting to read about its impact on men and their roles Plus, LaSalle was a lot funnier in this than in his previous book I laughed out loudthan once at some of his snarky comments he really doesn t like Al Jolson, for example A boy get hit by a truck, causing Jolson to serenade him in the hospital with Little Even better than Complicated Women, I have to say Maybe because the material isn t so well known Pre Code films and its history are usually about the women, so it was interesting to read about its impact on men and their roles Plus, LaSalle was a lot funnier in this than in his previous book I laughed out loudthan once at some of his snarky comments he really doesn t like Al Jolson, for example A boy get hit by a truck, causing Jolson to serenade him in the hospital with Little Pal Miraculously, the singing doesn t kill the child Aside from the Pre Code usuals Gable, Cagney, Fairbanks, Powell and Montgomery, LaSalle introduces others I now really want to dig up, Warren William and Richard Barthelmess

  4. Ashley says:

    This book is beautifully written with loads of information, insightful commentary, and wonderful touches of humor I enjoyed this one eventhan its companion book, Complicated Women Sex and Power in Pre Code Hollywood As I stated in my review for that book, I don t agree entirely with all of LaSalle s conclusions regarding the detrimental effect of the Production Code However, I enjoyed this book immensely It offers a window into another time and really captures the spirit of Pre Code H This book is beautifully written with loads of information, insightful commentary, and wonderful touches of humor I enjoyed this one eventhan its companion book, Complicated Women Sex and Power in Pre Code Hollywood As I stated in my review for that book, I don t agree entirely with all of LaSalle s conclusions regarding the detrimental effect of the Production Code However, I enjoyed this book immensely It offers a window into another time and really captures the spirit of Pre Code Hollywood I especially enjoyed the little mini biographies of the many stars the author mentions LaSalle offers insight into the ways in which their personal lives affected their films and the messages they tried to convey It s almost as if he knew them personally If you aren t familiar with the actors, there is just enough information to whet your appetite, leaving you hungry to find outabout their lives and movies As for the actors you know and love, the book manages to beautifully sum up what you like most while offering you additional insight I especially enjoyed the sections on James Cagney and John Barry, two of my all time personal favorites LaSalle s extensive knowledge and sharp wit keep the pages turning, and the book reads quickly That easy readability does nothing to make the book any less insightful While fun facts and interesting tidbits abound in plenty, the book goes beyond movie trivia and examines the cultural climate of the time in which the films were made He makes an interesting point when he writes Movies reflect culture but also affect it, and we can never know for sure which is influencing the otherLaSalle does an excellent job of framing the films he discusses within the historical context of the era Great reading for film buffs or fans of any of the dangerous men of old Hollywood

  5. Mei says:

    Interesting insight into pre code leading men It was overall a quick read The book is only about 200 pages long I picked this up to read up on Fredric March, one of my new found favorite leading men.Being a classic movie buff, it was fascinating to learn about the typecasting of the pre code Clark Gable The book also offers a different viewpoint of John Gilbert s film demise It wasn t his voice

  6. Vanessa says:

    What s driven me to read this repeatedly has been the merging of meticulous research, observation, and the author s genuine love of this period in film history Pre code Hollywood is a fascinating subject, and LaSalle s work, with it s engaging, vivid tone, sets a very amusing mood for it, which makes reading it a breeze.

  7. Patrick Elsey says:

    Way better then Dangerous Women despite being a lesser topic if only because the book is better order and reads better It s not this person career and then someone else career It s all tied together in this book and works a lot better If you re interested in old movies this is a great book.

  8. Judy says:

    A fascinating account of pre code Hollywood, looking at the male stars and how different they were from those who followed them, getting so muchscope to show their emotions and go against stereotypes.

  9. Greta says:

    Couldn t put it down Fascinating account of many actors, good observations, very astute, lots of descriptions of films Includes Barthelmess, Barry, Warren William, John Gilbert, Ramon Novarro, as well as the usual suspects.

  10. DeAnna says:

    I think this book would have beeninteresting if I had seen a lotof the movies the author was discussing As it was, I added a few movies to my Netflix queue, but didn t feel like finishing the book.

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