Proof That It’s Pre-Code:
- Prostitutes galore.
- “He wants me to ‘help him check up on his groceries'” said in highly suggestive manner.
- Women having sex for money. Sometimes as previously mentioned prostitutes, but on the side as well.
- Booze. “I could do some thinking on gin, if I had some.”
- Making light of prohibition. “The Eighteenth Amendment is a law, and as a law should be enforced until it stops being a law”
- One woman offers the porter something that is so suggestive that it’s covered up by a fog horn.
- One scene of a wanton tossing of prostitutes into a river.
On a personal note, I sometimes wonder about how many I films I watch in a given year center on or simply contain prostitutes. I saw Twelve Monkeys last night which contained the ‘crazy gross’ prostitute archetype, Django from Monday night had the ‘old looney’ version covered, and the series finale/TV movie of “Pulling” I watched back on Sunday had one character pretending to be an ‘classy escort’ to get drinks and food. That’s three films with three different kind of prostitutes in three days.
I suppose the preoccupation with prostitutes in film making is an understandable one: women are complex and unknowable, but if they will take off their clothes for money, then you at least have a starting point. To restructure an old joke, now that you know that they’ll do it, you just have to figure out the price.