Between the dawn of the talkies in 1927 and the enforcement of the "Hays" Production Code in 1934, Hollywood was at its boundary-pushing best. With filmmakers let loose; strong female characters had sexual agency, gangsters won out with no repercussions and libertines of all kinds engaged in promiscuity, violence, homosexuality, interracial sex, and drug use – any behaviour considered subversive at the time. The result was a storytelling freedom that did not rely on predictable justice narratives. It gave authority to women's wants, and it luxuriated in variety and vice while launching the careers of countless stars.
Here we round up a selection of gems from the short but celebrated era, many new in DCP and available to book now for your cinema or festival.