Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sex Madness (1938)

aka They Must Be Told!

How bad is it? It's one of 17 or 18  bad "educational" films Dwayne Esper filmed in a year.
Should you see it? It's not much to see, except for one scene (described below).

Dwayne Esper tackles the subject of venereal diseases with the same aplomb he did addiction and mental illness in other films (see "Maniac" and "Marihuana"). A showgirl has a fling and develops every possible symptom of syphilis. Even worse, she goes to a doctor for a cure, but he's a quack and she doesn't know she still has it. She marries, transmits the disease to her husband who goes blind, gives birth to a diseased baby that dies and suffers every possible indignity imaginable.

Watch for the scene where a prop window slams shut during a conversation. The actors are obviously startled, but no one shouts "Cut!" so they continue - and the scene wasn't re-shot! - and the viewers invariably stare at the window, waiting to see what happens (nothing ever does).

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