Pre-Code Hollywood Books

Books About Pre-Code Hollywood

There are a good number of resources for any bookworm to read and learn about Pre-Code Hollywood. Below I’ve listed all of the books specifically available about pre-Code Hollywood, as well as any other books I’ve reviewed for the site.


Books About Pre-Code Hollywood Specifically

These books are the best resources for studying and learning about pre-Code Hollywood. These are my bibles, books I go to whenever I’m curious or want to learn more about a trend, film or subject.

Pre-Code Hollywood by Thomas Doherty Complicated Women by Mick LaSalle

Pre-Code Hollywood:
Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934

by Thomas Doherty

Amazon

Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood

by Mick LaSalle

Amazon

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

by Mick LaSalle

Amazon

11 Pre-Code Hollywood Movie Histories by Cliff Aliperti

Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood

by Mark A. Vieira

Amazon

11 Pre-Code Hollywood Movies and Their Histories

by Cliff Aliperti

Amazon


Film and Film History Books

Books about specific film trends, background, and censorship, not necessarily centered on the pre-Code era but still good information.

Dawn Of Technicolor review The Genius of the System

The Dawn of Technicolor:
1915 – 1935

by James Layton
and David Pierce

Amazon | My Review

The Genius
of the System

by Thomas Schatz

Amazon


Books about Pre-Code Stars and Filmmakers

If you’re looking to find if a certain star has a biography written or available about them, check out their Actor or Actress page. This page only links the biographies I’ve reviewed.

The Bennetts: An Acting Family by Kellow Featured Player Mae Clarke James Curtis Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel Christina Rice book review pre-code hollywood

The Bennetts:
An Acting Family

by Brian Kellow

Amazon | My Review

Featured Player:
An Oral Autobiography of Mae Clarke

by James Curtis

Amazon

Ann Dvorak:
Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel

by Christina Rice

Amazon | My Review

The Inseparables by Christina Rice

The Inseperables

by Christina Rice

Amazon


Books I’ve Been Involved In

I can’t really review these since I was involved with them in one capacity or another, but you may also be interested in these titles.

Thoughts On The Thin Man Murder on Celluloid

 Thoughts on
The Thin Man

Edited by Danny Reid

Amazon

Murder on Celluloid: The Cinematic Puzzles of Hildegarde Withers

Written by Danny Reid

Amazon

This page updated whenever I add a new book review. Let me know if you have any I should check out below!

4 thoughts on “Books About Pre-Code Hollywood

  1. I’m reading the book THE DAME IN THE KIMONO: HOLLYWOOD, CENSORSHIP AND THE PRODUCTION CODE, FROM THE 1920’s TO THE 1960’s by Leonard J. Leff and Jerold L. Simmons. I’m using it as a resource for pre-Code film.

  2. Here’s a fantastic book about the Code from the inside. “See No Evil” by Jack Vizzard, published 1970. Vizzard came to work in the Production Code office, I believe in the early 1940’s, working directly under Joe Breen. He came in expecting to help save Hollywood from itself but ended up seeing the futility of such a mission. Told with a great deal of humor and irony. Gives some history of the early Code days, relates many wonderful anecdotes about the work he did as well as stories of the other censors. Used copies available on Amazon.

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