The Sunday Intertitle: Sex Crushed to Earth
“Art titles” from SEX, the sensation of 1920, with Louise Glaum as a showgirl seducing a wealthy New York stooge away from his wife. Nothing and no one is sexy in this film, despite the existence of many a sultry flapper in that era — it’s all terribly moralistic, and the Ince company’s idea of a wild party looks much like a toddler’s birthday bash only conducted by adults at 4 a.m.
Fred Niblo directs — his BEN-HUR was *much* sexier.
A helpful historical note at the start informs us that the film was generally received favourably by censors except in Pennsylvania where the title was forcibly changed to SEX CRUSHED TO EARTH, which I guess was considered purer because less appealing. They might equally have gone with SEX FOLDED UP AND WEDGED UNDER A TABLE LEG or SEX WITH GRAVY STAINS ALL DOWN ITS FRONT.
The other weird, kind of good, thing about this movie is that the main title has its own establishing shot — we see a painting of a Broadway theatre at night, with illuminated sign yelling SEX in light bulbs, and then a dissolve takes us into a closer view which serves as the opening credits. Possibly a first?
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