[personal profile] concertigrossi
Out of all of the Avengers, I have the toughest time writing Cap. The morés of the late 1930's-early 1940s are hard to get a grip on - The Hays Code meant that the movies couldn't deal with a lot of subjects in any kind of realistic manner, so a lot of nuance is stomped out with a great big stompy foot. No sex, no drugs, no immorality, no criticism of the church, bad guys must get comeuppance, no goings-on of any kind whatsoever. You ever notice the prevalence of movies in which a couple gets divorced, only to remarry later? Yeah.

I really owe my friend Jep for helping me with this - she's quite expert on the period, and I've been allergic to 20th century history until fairly recently. Here are some of the links she's recommended.

Life Magazine: All the editions of Life magazine, digitized, starting with the first issue in 1935. See the articles, reader reactions, advertisements and photographs. Here's a particularly useful article on juvenile delinquency during wartime, referencing VD, marijuana use and teenaged girls considering it their patriotic duty to have sex with soldiers. Seriously.

Radio Programs from the Internet Archive: Too many to list. Check out '30s and '40s era news broadcasts and radio dramas. I've downloaded a bunch of "Cavalcade of America" and some episodes of the Great Gildersleeve.

Pre-Hays Code movies help, too, as they're at least a bit more realistic in terms of Victorianesque behavior (or lack thereof. Check out "Gold Diggers of 1933," for example.)
And remember that the Hays Code never applied to the theater, so you've got stuff like Noel Coward's "The Vortex," which deals with a young cocaine-addicted, gay composer as he's dealing with his total cougar of a mother.

Seriously.

It's tricky, but I think I'm finally starting to get a grasp on the extent to which neo-Victorian prudery really was a function of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Date: 2012-10-29 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronica-rich.livejournal.com
About the only early movie I've seen is "Wings," a silent film from 1929 (was the first Oscar winner, in fact). I don't believe there were any ratings in place for it - there was mostly female nudity with side-boob, war, killing, and openly Epic Bromance. That's the extent of the perspective I can provide ...

Date: 2012-11-03 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concertigrossi.livejournal.com

Some of the silent films get pretty racy. DH and I once rented some early century porn and, I tell you what, nothing was left to the imagination.

Date: 2012-10-29 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soubie.livejournal.com
Had I any illusions about the 30s and 40s (really I think I was too young for them to be fixed) they would have been vanquished utterly by Spike Milligan's war memoirs (7 volumes of them)- wherein soldiers behave probably worse then my generation in practically every way. (Well, okay, no drug use, but only because they can hardly afford that in Tunisia and Italy throughout most of the forties.) I was 14-15 when I read them. Learned a few new words, I can tell you.

But that's British and probably not actually that useful to you, especially as you mostly want domestic details by the sound of it.

Date: 2012-11-03 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concertigrossi.livejournal.com

No! British details are good, too - after all, Steve spent a bunch of time in London.

And I'll be looking up those memoirs, all 7 volumes. Once they're in the field, all soldiers are experiencing nearly the same things.

The more I read, the more I get the impression of the 1950s-early 1960s as a time of O HAI NOTHING REALLY BAD HAPPENED RECENTLY AND EVERYTHING'S PERFECT AND EVERYTHING THAT ISN'T WE'LL SHOVE UNDER THE RUG BECAUSE WE'RE TRYING TO IGNORE HOW MUCH THE LAST 20 YEARS SUCKED.

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