So on Friday I broke down and went ahead and purchased the TCM Archives Boxed Set "The Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 2". I was going to buy it eventually but had just been renting it. Since I have a unique passion for Pre-Codes, I should be supporting the ones that are being put out on DVD. Especially ones that I'm interested in, like The Divorcee (1930), A Free Soul (1931) and Night Nurse (1931), all of which I had been waiting a substantial amount of time to view and all of which I had missed or only seen part of when aired on TCM.
So I forked over the $40 (hey I finished paying for school, so it's not so bad right?) and my set should be coming in a few days. I did happen to catch the Thou Shalt Not documentary, before I returned my second DVD to Netflix. I was very impressed by it. I wrote a lot of film names down, all of which, to my dismay, are not available on DVD, grrr. The documentary is very informative and chic, in that TCM style. There was one comment at the end that switched on the proverbial light bulb above my head. One of the interviewees said that although the Hays Code did a lot to stifle films in the late 30s to early 50s with its strict censorship, it was also a blessing to the film industry. It forced filmmakers to be more creative about conveying things in their stories in such a way that it would squeak by the censors. And thus we get some of the most well-written stories in the history of film. If you ever watch Family Guy, you'll know young Chris always does a funny "whhhhhhaaaaatt?" when he finds out something truly shocking. I had that kind of a moment. Here I was thinking that the films from that 20+ year span were being held back and I always wondered what they could be without so many restrictions. But now I realize that they may not have been as clever without the Hays Code restrictions. What would Out of the Past (1947) be with all its witty dialogue? So in the end, this documentary made me appreciate something that I had been taking for granted all this time!