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Lady of the Pavements

date 1929
by D.W. Griffith, director
medium Savoy Theatre Handbill

Prostitution became a topic of an American film as early as 1902’s The Girl Who Went Astray, and "streetwalking" remained a recurring theme in movies throughout the years of silent cinema. D.W. Griffith’s Lady of the Pavements (1929), a part-talkie, was one of the many films that bridged the transition to sound cinema, in this case bringing the subject of prostitution with it. The advertisement on this handbill emphasizes the possibilities of romance, with several artistic renderings of a man and woman preparing for an intimate kiss, but it also is sure to include a little bit of leg in the various drawings of dancing women in order to suggest the more scandalous sexuality of the jazz age.