In films of the 1930s romance was in full swing. There were ,however, many of the same pitfalls we face today. There was booze, there was sleeze and there was pre -code. In precode Hollywood before the code of moral conduct was enforced couples even shared the same double bed sometimes even before marriage. Admittedly sex was suggested rather than served but these films were very evocative. Films like ‘It Happened One Night’ with Gable and Colbert or ‘Red Dust’ with Gable and Harlow or basically anything with Gable.
These movies were full of sexual tension but left the sex to the imagination. There were the classy dames like Myrna Loy,Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich who lured men into webs of intrigue and eventually to their beds and then there were the sassy dames who used sex as a way of getting even or of escaping a world that refused to give them a break like Jean Harlow. Film like ‘Merrily We Go To Hell’ with Sylvia Sidney and Frederich March. In this film a girl marries boy but boy is an alchoholic and a journalist to boot. When he plays around she plays around as this is surely the best way to keep him. Eventually though he realises the error of his ways, they lose a baby to miscarriage and decide to start again.
Scantily clad females were all the rage in pre code in their barely there gown and negligees always suggesting that something naughty was in the wind. Joan Crawford loved to pose on staircases and ooze sex appeal. In the film ‘Rain’ she even went so far as to play a prostitute who corrupts a missionary and is quite beyond redemption.
Jean Harlow in ‘Red Dust’ even went so far as to take a bath in full view of Clark Gable. Yep. Him again.