Join Noted Film Programmer and Instructor Elliot Lavine on Tuesday mornings at 11:00: January 8 - March 19

Dates
January 8 - March 19, 2019
No class on Tuesday, March 5
January 8, 2019
Scarface
(1932; directed by Howard Hawks)
January 15, 2019
Three on a Match
(1932; directed by Mervyn LeRoy)
January 22, 2019
Baby Face
(1933; directed by Alfred Green)
January 29, 2019
Island of Lost Souls
1932; directed by Erle C. Kenton)
February 5, 2019
Safe in Hell
(1931; directed by William Wellman)
February 12, 2019
Red-Headed Woman
(1932; directed by Jack Conway)
February 19, 2019
The Cheat
(1931; directed by George Abbott)
February 26, 2019
Downstairs
(1932; directed by Monta Bell)
March 12, 2019
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(1931; directed by Rouben Mamoulian)
March 19, 2019
Footlight Parade
(1933; directed by Lloyd Bacon)
Delivery
In-Person on Tuesdays
11 a.m. PST
Cinema 21 Theatre
616 NW 21st Ave
Portland, Oregon 97209
Cost
$129
Must pay for entire ten-week course. No individual tickets will be sold.

With the widespread adoption of sound in motion pictures by 1929, Hollywood producers, directors and writers seized the opportunity to expand the horizons of film content in provocative new ways. Frank, adult dialogue combined with a reckless disregard for convention gave us a torrent of films replicating the realities of the Depression: poverty, rampant gangsterism, illicit drug use, prostitution--the works! By the early 1930s, the heroine of the typical Warner Bros or Fox picture was a prostitute, drug addict or unwed mother. Infidelity and abortion were topics ripe for exploration. Gangsters were depicted as noble heroes, and occasionally got away with murder. Crazed scientists mocked the deity. Would it ever end?

Yes, it would. By early 1934, after a mountain of harsh condemnation by religious groups and protests from concerned families throughout the South and the Mid-West, theater owners were forced to threaten a boycott against studios that persisted in producing lewd, licentious entertainment. In the face of lost revenue, Hollywood relented and began a severe revision of the Hays Code that had been created in 1930 but never seriously enforced. No longer would the type of behavior and imagery that made so many pre-code melodramas so sizzling be tolerated. In a word, Hollywood films, by mid 1934, had become eviscerated.

The reigning aesthetic of the Pre-Code Era was Realism and it produced a significant number of dynamic films during a relatively brief explosion of unbridled creativity. These thrilling films are loaded with exciting young stars like Bette Davis, James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Dvorak, Humphrey Bogart, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell and many others working with some of the most brilliant directors from Hollywood's golden age: Howard Hawks, William Wellman, Mervyn LeRoy, Lloyd Bacon and Rouben Mamoulian.

Instructor Elliot Lavine

Instructor Photo

Elliot Lavine has been a film programmer of national repute since 1990, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and now here in Portland. In 2010, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his revival of rare archival titles and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir. He has taught film studies courses for Stanford's Continuing Studies Program since 2006.

Films in this course

This amazing TEN WEEK class will focus on TEN FILMS that perfectly epitomize the Pre-code ethos. These are the films we will be watching together IN THEIR ENTIRETY on the BIG SCREEN at Cinema 21 in Portland.

  1. Scarface (1932; Howard Hawks)
  2. Three on a Match (1932; Mervyn LeRoy)
  3. Baby Face (1933; Alfred Green)
  4. Island of Lost Souls (1932; Erle C. Kenton)
  5. Safe in Hell (1931; William Wellman)
  6. Red-Headed Woman (1932; Jack Conway)
  7. The Cheat (1931; George Abbott)
  8. Downstairs (1932; Monta Bell)
  9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931; Rouben Mamoulian)
  10. Footlight Parade (1933; Lloyd Bacon)
  • Elliot Lavine

    Elliot Lavine has been a film programmer of national repute since 1990, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and now here in Portland. In 2010, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his revival of rare archival titles and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir. He has taught film studies courses for Stanford's Continuing Studies Program since 2006.