9 Answers

  1. This is a very interesting question, but it will be revealed only after explaining the concept of which few people know or speak in wide circles only in courses and in the history of cinema. Next, I want to show you a bit of history from which you will understand how the concept of a negative hero is formed, in general, it will not be about the essence of any film antagonist or protagonist, but PRE CODE in Hollywood. So listen up.

    What is the Hollywood pre-code? Pre-Code

    From 1929 to 1934, Hollywood made some of the most progressive films of the twentieth century. This time period – and the films that were shot during this time-are commonly known as Pre-Code Hollywood. But what is Pre-Code Hollywood? It was more than a few years in the history of cinema – it was a liberal shift in culture.

    We're going to look at the history of Pre-Code movies and how they were closed. But before we get to the examples that precede the Codex, let's recall the general history of that period.

    Switching to Pre-Code

    There were movies before, during, and after the code. But not all movies before code implementation are considered pre-coding movies. Okay, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. “What is this mysterious code?” you might think.

    Good question! The code is the Motion Picture Production Code (MPPC), better known as the Hayes Production Code or simply the “Hayes Code”. All Hollywood films were required to comply with the rules of the Hayes Code from 1934-1968.

    We're going to touch on the Hayes Code in a minute, but first let's remind ourselves how the film industry moved from the age of silence to what we call pre-code. The following video explains the various technical and logistical reasons why Hollywood has moved from silent films to sound films.

    Breaking the silence • History of cinema

    As a result of the transition from silence to sound, Hollywood pictures began to deviate in new experimental directions. Some films depicted nudity, while others portrayed criminals in a positive light. This brief but very influential period in Hollywood is known as the pre-codex era.

    Pre-Code Hollywood is the period in American film production between the age of silence and the establishment of the Hayes Code (1929-1934). Pre-coding movies have become synonymous with progressive ideals and bold themes. Many of the themes and themes covered in pre-coding films did not return to American film production until the 1960s. The Hayes Code was a set of rules established by Will Hayes as an attempt by Hollywood studios to “self-censor” to appease the moral majority.

    Hollywood characteristics before coding:

    1. Progressive ideals
    2. Women's empowerment
    3. Gangsters
    4. Social issues
    5. Monsters and mayhem
    6. Commentary on the Church

    Pre-coding of movies and genres

    Back in 1922, American film Producers and distributors (MPPDA) tried to censor Hollywood. The turbulent 1920s radically changed the American people's attitude to sexuality. For the first time in the country's history, women were respected as professionals. It is important to remember that women were only given the right to vote in 1920.

    But whenever too much progress is made in the right direction, there are those who are desperate to return the situation to the status quo. Several high-ranking members of Christian churches were dissatisfied with the direction of the film. So they paid Presbyterian leader William Hayes a huge salary for working with studios and the government to develop a censorship code.

    However, in the early years of the Code's development, Hayes found it almost impossible to enforce strict censorship rules. These first recommendations are known as“Don't do this and be careful.” The full list of rules stated that many things were either completely forbidden or strongly discouraged.

    The Hayes Code prohibits the following::

    Here are some of the most famous rules:

    • Any loose or revealing nudity – actual or silhouette; and any lecherous or profligate notification thereof by other characters in the picture
    • Ridiculing the clergy
    • Explicit profanity – by name or by mouth-this includes the words “God”, “Lord”, “Jesus”, “Christ” (if not used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell”, “curse”, “Gawd” and any other rude and vulgar expression, however written.
    • Extreme care should be taken with: criminal empathy; drug use; and the institution of marriage.

    These are just some of the rules Hayes hoped to put in place in the 1920s. However, it just didn't work out. The movie continued to move in a rampant direction, largely in defiance of those who condemned it. Now that we understand what was happening in Hollywood during this time, let's move on to some of the most iconic films before the code was created.

    The Divorcee (1930)

    It's easy to forget how taboo the idea of divorce was for the better half of the 20th century. The divorced person is not only dealing with the divorce itself, but also with the motives behind it and the long-term consequences that follow.

    The following video tells the story of the film and offers a great analysis:

    Video Youtube movie analysis in English.

    Divorced has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won one (Best Actress for Norma Shearer, who was one of the most famous actresses before Codex). Many film historians have called The Divorced one of the most important films of the pre-Codex era. By today's standards, the film isn't radical, but given the time, it was a big step forward in portraying realism in relationships and sexuality.

    Frankenstein (1931)

    James Vail's adaptation of Frankenstein is one of the most iconic films of the pre-code era and one of the best horror films of all time. Monster movies became incredibly popular at this time due to the advent of sound, prosthetics, and special effects. Frankenstein made extensive use of all the new technologies of film production, and he enjoyed great success with moviegoers.

    However, many tried to censor the film, citing blasphemy and inappropriate content. This scene, in particular, provoked considerable fury from Hayes and the MPPDA:

    Preliminary Code * Frankenstein (1931) Clip

    The line “In the name of God? Now I know what it means to be a God ” was considered blasphemous, but again, we have to consider the time when Frankenstein was created. The church had a huge influence in the court of public consumption, which they desperately clung to. Perhaps we can take a look at a line from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein novel to explain why: “Nothing is more painful to the human mind than great and sudden changes.”

    The Public Enemy (1931)

    James Cagney was one of Hollywood's greatest stars before the codex. Fortunately, Cagney's career continued well after the pre-codex era – which is not the case for many actors. But there is no doubt that Cagney became famous in the years leading up to the Codex.

    In Public Enemy, Cagney plays an American gangster trapped in a cycle of bootlegging and violence.

    Public Enemy • Trailer

    Gangster movies were incredibly popular in the pre-Codex era – there was something inherently appealing about criminal life for moviegoers at that time. Probably because of the ban.

    Although the sale and distribution of alcohol was illegal in 1920-1933, few people actually followed the law. In many ways, the bans and rules of Hollywood censorship were incredibly similar. There was an outspoken minority who demanded the introduction of rules, but they were not followed, because the majority did not agree with them. Ultimately, Public Enemy gives us a glimpse of both issues – and it just so happens to be one of the best gangster movies of all time.

    Red Headed Woman (1932)

    Few pre-codex films are as famous as Jack Conway's The Red Woman. Jean Harlow plays an ambitious young woman who will do everything possible to achieve success. Most of the time, she relies on her sexual prowess to get ahead. Even the riskiest pre-codex movies didn't have a lot of pre-codex nudity, but the red-haired woman angered the Hays office so much that they started working with renewed vigor to enforce the Code.

    If you've only seen one clip from the Pre-Code era, it's probably:

    Pre Code • Red-haired woman

    Pre-Code Hollywood wasn't about sexuality per se; it was about the freedom to explore sexuality. At the time, filmmakers usually explored the power dynamics between men and women, and sex was the main trump card between the characters.

    And, by the way, did you know F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the first draft of the novel “The Red Woman” with Marcel de Sano. The studio considered it too serious, and it was later rewritten by Anita Loos.

    Baby Face (1933) / Baby Face (1933)

    Pre-code Hollywood movies often repeated the real impact of the Great Depression on people's lives. Baby Face is one of those movies. Barbara Stanwyck stars as a young woman who is essentially prostituted by her father. Eventually, she becomes independent, but still uses her sexuality to survive.

    Precode • Baby Face

    Baby Face is in many ways the difference between captivity and freedom; structurally, financially, and sexually. Hayes and the MPPDA were so upset by the film's content that they immediately demanded that it be withdrawn from circulation. Despite its huge impact, Baby Face was not listed on the National Film Registry until 2005.

    The Demise of Pre-Code in Hollywood

    As Hollywood continued to branch out in new directions, many of which the MPPDA found scandalous, it became easier and easier for William Hayes to enlist support to enforce censorship rules.

    By 1934, a regulation was passed that required a certificate of approval for the release of all future Hollywood films. The five major movie studios: MGM, RKO, Warner Bros., Paramount, and 20th Century Fox had no choice but to agree.

    This video explains how Hayes and the Catholic Church gained control of Hollywood and established a multi-year stranglehold on free speech.

    How the Catholic Church Censors Hollywood

    At that time, cinema was not under the legal protection of the First Amendment. What for? Because the government said so … it was not a good time for constitutional rights. So the Hollywood Production Code Office actually ran Hollywood for a long time, from 1934 to 1950. By 1968, it was officially disbanded during the New Hollywood Revolution.

    Remnants of pre-Codex Hollywood

    After World War II, radical film movements such as the French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, and the Scandinavian Renaissance began to emerge around the world. All these moves have pushed cinema in new and bold directions; just like Pre-Code Hollywood.

    Many themes and themes from Pre-Code have been revealed in the works of directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Federico Fellini. Although these films received a fair share of critical acclaim, especially from the Catholic Church and fundamentalists, they were not heavily censored.

    Films were censored all over the world, from revolutionary Brazil to the UK in the 1980s. But the MPPDA's censorship of Hollywood may be the most significant of all the periods of film censorship.

    Today, much of the spirit of the pre-Codex era lives on in the American independent film movement.

    In the next topic, I will tell you about the protagonist in the movie and how it works.

  2. Negative characters are interesting to us because they usually have an intriguing backstory (which led him to such a life, which influenced the formation of his character).

    Crazy, cynical and charismatic, they stand out from the crowd. Negative characters can go beyond the limits set by society (after all, everyone would like to try something forbidden, and in films the villains, so to speak, do it for us)

    Without them, the film will be dull and boring. Agree, it is not interesting to see how some correct hero, who, for example, has never used profanity, follows the laws, established norms, and is always ready to help everyone.

    Well, in terms of examples, as they wrote before me, the Joker is one of the most vivid and memorable characters.

    You can also take the same Voldemort, the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, Freddy Krueger and Nosferatu (isn't he a darling).

  3. I began to notice that many negative characters began to like more than before. I saw a quote a few years ago: “Have you noticed that the villains in movies always try to change something, while the “good” ones leave everything in its place?”

    So I began to see in many well-written villains a certain way to change the system. After all, the system needs a conflict. Otherwise, there will be no development.

    If we talk about specific films, then:

    1. “The Dark Knight” – The Joker (here probably just because of love for the DC universe)

    2. “Star Wars” – D. Vader (if you can call him a bad guy).�

    3. “Fox Hunter” – a coach played by Steve Carrel (Due to the unusual, ambiguous character, because of his motives)

    And others I don't remember right now. I will only add that I like actors who play villains in such a way that you are ready to break the screen of your TV, or break something, just not to see it. Such villains are remembered for a very long time and the film itself, of course, too.

  4. I've never liked Frolo from the Hunchback, Scarface from the Lion King, or any of the other negative Disney characters. No, definitely not. I had a liking for minor characters. The same Abu or Jacob from Aladdin, the people turned into objects from Beauty and the Beast, the 7 dwarfs from Snow White, the monkey from the Lion King, these are all very interesting characters. As for the villains.

    Well, they have one mission to harm, no matter who, the main thing is to harm. They also do not care how harm will be done, whether it is murder, seizure of power, robbery, etc. For them, this does not seem to be harm, but rather liberation, enlightenment, etc. Take the same Joker. Maybe their message is sometimes correct, but their methods are too radical. That's why I love anti-heroes, no, not Deadpool, this is generally some kind of clown, Punisher, a perfect example of an anti-hero. Wetting evil uncles, instead of bringing them to the police, as one clown in tights with cobwebs does, well, camon, the criminal will be released, then it will still be necessary to catch him. What kind of hemorrhoids? As it is, everyone knows what will happen if you do something wrong. As was the case with many of the Punisher's enemies.

  5. One of the first things I remember. Priest Frollo of Notre-Dame de Paris. There are,of course, such films, so it is suitable. The hero is not negative,but insanely controversial. With a huge lack of understanding of himself, from which all his rage came. Ah,in fact, he is the most noble person. And two, Thomas Barrow of Downton Abbey. This is a miracle,not a hero. I don't see how anyone can hate him. I've been doing nothing but feel sorry for him the whole show,most of all. A handsome man with a difficult ,apparently, past due to non-traditional orientation. This is what causes his intrigues, gossip, and inability to build trusting relationships with the good people around him. But he wants so much to be a part of something bigger. Also, Loki and the Phantom of the Opera. I'll never understand Kristina Doe. What had she learned from her life with Raoul? And a Ghost would open up a world that no one else would ever see. According to the film, I would definitely have stayed in the romantic basements of the Opera. What can attract superficially negative characters in general? A hidden secret, a hidden pain that you want to open up, to get rid of and,of course, to help.

  6. I believe that sympathy for negative characters is initiated and promoted specifically (according to the system of “Overton Windows”) – perhaps by film creators, or studio managers. The mega-PR of the movie “Suicide Squad” only confirms this. Why is a good question. Profit is a yes, but perhaps there is something else.

  7. My constant feeling. As already mentioned above, the Purple man from Jessica Jones, the Joker from the Dark Knight and Bane from the same place, Ozymandias and the Comedian from the Guardians, Ganibal from the TV series of the same name, Han from Star Trek, Magnetto from the X-Men, Jamie Lanister (this is, of course, debatable whether he is an antagonist, but still), Kramer from Saw. In a word, you can list them endlessly.

  8. I remember watching the TV show “Jessica Jones” only because I really liked her enemy Purple Man. And the actor himself is sympathetic, and there was some sympathy for the hero.

  9. Things happen. From immediately memorable examples — to the Joker from “The Dark Knight”. Why? Charisma and intelligence, a double trick. Despite the assurances about the lack of a plan and morality, they are clearly traced in him.�

    Recently I came across an interesting video that coincided with my thoughts:


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