Leila Hyams, 1932
John Barrymore in costume as Captain Ahab on the set of Moby Dick (1930)
Women in Pre-Code Hollywood
During the days of silent film women were often portrayed as simple stereotypes, the ingenue, the saint, the fallen woman or the vamp, to name a few.
However during the what is now known as the Pre-Code era, the portrayal of women in film, grew from the stereotypes like the ingenue and the vamp into something more.
No longer stereotypes, these screen women had become complicated. This combination of sensuality, independence and playfulness, made them fascinating to watch and completely modern - Complicated Women (1993)
Women were shown to be independent, clever, capable and free to enjoy themselves in whatever way they chose to without consequence.
James Cagney and Mae Clark in Lady Killer, 1933.
Miriam Hopkins for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1931
Ernst Lubitsch visiting Claudette Colbert on the set of The Sign of the Cross (1932)
Barbara Stanwyck, 1931