From 1930 to 1935 films is Hollywood developed and changed quite drastically, musicals in particular. In 1934 Hollywood’s Chief Censor Will Hays adopted a code and began to enforce it in 1934. The code was referred to as the Hays code and it controlled the content of which films were allowed, or not allowed, to release to a public audience. Prior to this time the was a large gray area on what was being released. Gold Diggers of 1933 was one of these films; when compared to Top Hat of 1935 the censorship and differences are quite clear.
When Looking at Gold Diggers of 1933 we have our dual-structure format with the characters being a group of showgirls faced with unemployment and the difficulties of the depression, and there director trying to keep the show going but a lack of funding is stopping him. A group of upper class men trying to stop a marriage from one of their brothers marrying one of the showgirls gets thrown into the mix, but coincidently fall in love themselves with the showgirls. So essentially there’s a battle between the perfect love but the barriers between aristocracy and proletariat classes are obstacles to that.
The musical number “Petting in the park” is a good example of this films sexuality and the way they projected it. The couple is sitting in the park having a back and forth exchange, while the male is essentially undressing the female. At one point there is a white curtain that is lit up and the women undress behind it which can clearly be seen by the audience. Once the women are back out they have metal tops and the number ends with the male using a can opener to cut his way towards his goal. Entertaining yes but this is a clear example what would have been censored out after the Hays code took effect.
The film’s plot line relies on deception, misunderstanding, manipulation, over reaction, and a healthy amount of coincidence, such as, when the theatre director happens to overhear the piano player practicing his new song through the windows of...