This is a typical sex exploitation film from the early 1930s – complete with wild parties, sex out of wedlock, lesbianism, etc. A chorus girl’s exposure to the “casting couch” also exposes her to syphilis.
Exploitation filmmakers hoped to capitalize on the taboo subjects of venereal disease, sex before marriage, lesbianism, etc. while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 which forbade a film from containing such content. Films like this would tour the United States for years – mostly being shown in rundown, skid row theaters. This film has been re-edited and re-titled (“Human Wreckage”, “They Must Be Told”, “Trial Marriage”, “About Trial Marriage”) many times to attract the same audience to film, to take advantage of a taboo subject which may have gotten press recently or to appease local censors who disapproved of the film’s content.
Also, if you are interested in the rich, uniquely American history of exploitation films, there are two excellent books on the subject:
“Forbidden Fruit – The Golden Age of the Exploitation Film”, Felicia Feaster and Bret Wood, Midnight Marquee Press, 1999.
“Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919 – 1959″ Eric Schaefer, Duke University Press, 1999
This movie is part of the Internet Archive collection: Feature Films
Director: William Curran
Production Company: Cinema Service Corp.
Audio/Visual: sound, b&w
Creative Commons license: Public Domain