Slaves in Bondage (July 25, 1937)

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Slaves in Bondage
 

Released on July 25, 1937: Mothers, warn your daughters - evil men in the big city are luring small town girls into the city to ensnare them into dancing half-naked and worse.

Directed by Elmer Clifton

The Actors: Lona Andre (Dona Lee), Donald Reed (Philip Miller), Wheeler Oakman (Jim Murray), Florence Dudley (Belle Harris), John Merton (Nick Costello), Richard Cramer (Dutch Hendricks), William Royle (city editor), Edward Peil Sr. (Detective Captain), Louise Small (Mary Lou Smith), Matty Roubert (Good-Looking Freddie), Suzanna Kim (Exotic Dancer), Ed Carey (Detective), Martha Chapin (Lillian, Blonde Venus), Jack Cheatham (Bubble Club manager), Donald Kerr (Bubble Club drunk number one), Eddie Laughton (Sam Ward), Sam Lufkin (Bubble Club waiter), Stanley Mack (Detective), Murdock MacQuarrie (gambler), Carl Mathews (Bubble Club waiter), Fred Parker (gambler), Bob Reeves (policeman), Henry Roquemore (Bubble Club drunk number two), Lottie Smith (Rosie the beautiful brunette), Arthur Thalasso (police dispatcher).

 

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If you will allow me a flight of fancy, using both my knowledge of movie making in the old days and a vivid imagination, let me tell you how I see this movie being made. This movie was produced by 'Jay-Dee-Kay' - that is the truth. Now let me make some guesses.

You have these three fellows with a bit of money and a lust for the wild life of the big city - Jake, Donald and Kevin. Sitting around one afternoon nursing a hangover, they talk about last night at the Bubble Over Club.

"Have you ever seen so many beautiful girls, Donald?"

"I'll say, and that oriental fan dancer . . . what was her name? . . . Oh yeah, Princess Suzanna Kim . . . did you see the chassis on that little honey?"

"Oh, don't remind me . . . while she was sitting at our table after her dance, I told her that we were big movie producers and that we would put her in a movie."

"What! Are you out of your mind? What were you drinking, anyway? You know that since the Hays Office was created no movie that those girls could be in would ever get past the Hays censors. Sure, the big cities would eat up a movie about wild night life and fan dancers, but most of this country is made up of small farm towns, and they would never allow a movie about night clubs with half-naked girls to be shown in their movie houses. The days of making movies with any sexual overtones has ended."

"Hey, I was talking to a buddy last week, and he told me about a clever way that movies like this could get past the Hays censors . . . I think he called them 'exploitation' movies or something."

"Exploitation movies - what in the world are you talking about?"

"Here's the angle: All movies today must show the good guys winning in the end over the bad guys - but here's the kicker - in order to make a movie where the good guys win - you still need to show the audience the bad guys, right? So the plot of our movie is, 'Mothers, warn your daughters about the dangers of the night clubs in the big city - there are bad guys running them and they want your daughters.'

"Now, in order to properly warn all those good farm folk, we just gotta show them the dangers - the dancing, the drinking and carousing of these girls - and the evil men who oogle them and spend all their hard-earned money on them. We need to show them just what these girls will do, don't we? That's where Princess Suzanna comes in - and by the way, I promised that we'd get that blonde Venus and the brunette knock-out on screen also. We can do it all - we can get all the girls into the movie, and have a really fun time making it. We might even be able to figure out a way to write in a good cat fight between a couple of the girls in their nightgowns. Heck, we can probably make a bundle at the box office to boot!"

"I think you have something there, Kevin, let's do it! We can give it a name that will bring people to the box office like bees to honey . . . maybe something like 'Slaves in Bondage' - how's that for a title?"

Note (true): January 20, 1939 in Oklahoma City, an investigation of the movie 'Slaves in Bondage' was ordered by W.A. Quinn, the City Manager, after complaints by several movie-goers. The news report does not say how many times he watched the movie in the course of his investigation.

Lona AndreDonald Reed
Lona AndreDonald Reed
Wheeler OakmanFlorence Dudley
Wheeler OakmanFlorence Dudley
Edward Peil Sr.John Mertin
Edward Peil Sr.John Mertin
Matty RoubertJohn Merton and Richard Cramer
Matty RoubertJohn Merton and Richard Cramer
Lottie SmithMartha Chapin
Lottie SmithMartha Chapin
Henry RoquemoreLona Andre, Florence Dudley and Wheeler Oakman
Henry RoquemoreLona Andre, Florence Dudley and Wheeler Oakman
Lona Andre and Wheeler OakmanLona Andre and William Royle
Lona Andre and Wheeler OakmanLona Andre and William Royle
Princess Suzanna Kimnightclub act
Princess Suzanna Kimnightclub act
banker's room girlBachelor room girl
Banker's room girlBachelor room girl
Lawyer's room girlLouise Small
Lawyer's room girlLouise Small