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Thursday April 19th 2018

Comedy Short: The Expose of the Nudist Racket (1938)

Scene from 1938 short The Nudist Racket

Here’s a 10-minute short film from 1938 titled The Expose of the Nudist Racket. Back in the 1930′s, Hollywood was under the so-called Motion Picture Production Code, also called the Hays Code after Hollywood’s chief censor Will H. Hays, which basically meant that Hollywood studios had to self-censor their films. Before that, some films managed to get away with showing naughty stuff, but some states threatened to pass censorship laws.

The Hays code went into effect in 1930 and it remained in force until 1968. Naturally the code banned most nudity and sex, plus lots of other things. Some people really like to impose their morality on everyone else. But occasionally films like this one got made, which showed bare breasts under the guise of reporting on the naturist movement.

The movie opens with some tango music playing over rolling text about various ISMS–Darwinism, Buddism, Antagonism, Fascism, Egotism, etc. and now, NUDISM. From the text, it is clear that this is a tongue-in-cheek treatment of the subject.

This movie shows footage of people frolicing around naked at nudist colonies. They are hiking, swimming and playing games. The narrator presents Nudism as a healthy diversion with a comedic-style commentary. The movie shows all kinds of people of all shapes and sizes at nudist colonies, and there are plenty of pretty girls with nice breasts, especially towards the end. Most of the attractive girls were probably young Hollywood starlets that were hired to be in the film. I don’t imagine you would get that many pretty girls with such nice figures in one place like that.

The narrator mentions that the American Sunbathers Association would have some kind of presentation at the “upcoming world’s fair” which have been the 1939 New York World’s Fair. I wonder if that happened. Probably not.

This short was probably not shown as part of the regular matinee double feature. Most likely, it was part of a road show for men’s only “stag party” at the local lodge for the Loyal Order of Moose. They used to call these stag films. This would have been done outside the studio system and not subject to “the code”.


The Expose of the Nudist Racket by 1982FilmFan

Alternate Link: The Expose of the Nudist Racket on archive.org under Short Format Films

Title: The Expose of the Nudist Racket
Tagline:
Genre: Newsreel/Comedy Short
Year: 1938
Runtime: 9:41
Director: uncredited
Writer: uncredited
Starring: uncredited
Credited: Hollywood Producers and Distributors
IMDB: No Information

Blurb:

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