Leslie Howard Interviewed, 1934

This interview was published on “Picturegoer” of September 15, 1934. Once again, Leslie Howard express his contempt for American film industry, “in the hands of people who are devoid of taste and culture.” He is sceptical about the tide of puritanism which seems to have banished sex from Hollywood productions: “The moment they [the censors] relax any of their efforts, producers (ever on the look out for any tiny sign of weakening in the attack) will lay plans for the production of sex plays again.” Because the audience is seeking for entertainment, they do not want to be bored. And sex is never boring. His approach is very pragmatic: “There is nothing wrong with sex. There is everything wrong with gangsterdom. It’s all a question of taste.”

Leslie Howard Talks about Sex Films

The famous star indicts the movie moguls in one of the most outspoken interviews ever given by a film artiste. “The production of pictures in America,” he says, “is –75 per cent, at least– in the hands of people who are devoid of taste and culture. The only thing they have is the money to pay for the production.”

During an interval, whilst he was filming some of the scenes in the screen version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, in which he is starring for London Film Productions, at Elstree, I asked Leslie Howard whether he thought– from his intimate knowledge of film-making in Hollywood– this new purity drive started by the churches would mean that costume would oust sex film?
He was looking very slim and debonair in his Regency period costume, with lace ruffles and frills, softening the rather severe lines of his tailed olive-green coat. There is no actor on stage and screen who can look better in costume than Leslie Howard. […]

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