Finishing School Is In Session! Pre-Code Re-Discovery in a New 35mm Print from the Library of Congress on May 22

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, May 22 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by George Nichols, Jr. & Wanda Tuchock • 1934
From Reefer Madness to Spring Breakers, youthful depravity has remained as evergreen a topic as any broached with consistency by the American cinema. Before either of these, there was Finishing School, a half-comedic debauch, half-earnest melodrama that could have only been made in the pre-Code era, several orders of magnitude more sensitive than the kids-aren’t-alright social problem pictures it superficially resembles. Frances Dee stars as Virginia Radcliff, sent away by her class conscious parents to the tony Crockett Hall where she’s assigned to room with horse-obsessed wild child named Pony (a scene-stealing Ginger Rogers). When Pony convinces her to come along on an unchaperoned trip to the city to enjoy pleasures libational and carnal, Virginia falls into the arms of dreamy intern Mac, working nights at a hotel to pay the bills until he finishes med school, and becomes embroiled in a romance that could see her expelled from school. The sole feature directing credit for screenwriter Wanda Tuchock (along with Dorothy Arzner, one of only two women credited with directing a Hollywood picture in the 1930s), Finishing School would prove to be one of the last films made before enforcement of the Hays Code became de rigueur, as frank and compassionate a look at the sex lives of women as American moviegoers would see for some time. (CW)
73 min • RKO Radio Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Warner Bros.
Short: The Three Stooges in “Men in Black” (Raymond McCarey, 1934) – 18 min – 16mm

“…unfit to be seen and a menace to decency” — Father Daniel A. Lord S.J.

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