The film, by the way, is a pretty hard-boiled story of a prostitute who seduces a married minister (Walter Huston), who then commits suicide. This is in the pre-censorship era of Hollywood talking pictures... the so-called "Hays Code" started being enforced in 1934. After that, films were not supposed to do anything of the following, or risk censorship:
Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:Interesting to see how far we've come. Or, depending on your perspective, how far we've fallen.
- Pointed profanity-by either title or lip-this includes the words "God," "Lord," "Jesus," "Christ" (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), "hell," " damn," "Gawd," and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
- Any licentious or suggestive nudity-in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
- The illegal traffic in drugs;
- Any inference of sex perversion;
- White slavery;
- Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
- Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
- Scenes of actual childbirth-in fact or in silhouette;
- Children's sex organs;
- Ridicule of the clergy;
- Willful offense to any nation, race or creed.