A favorite of the 1930s exploitation circuit, Birth of a Baby is a simple, unadorned story of an expectant couple (Eleanor King, William Post Jr.) Concerned about the health factors of the upcoming delivery, the couple consults a kindly obstetrician (Richard Gordon). The birth takes place without a hitch, and everyone is happy. So what's the big deal? It seems that, as a means to "hype" the film, documentary footage of an actual birth was spliced into the last reel. A model of decorum by today's standards, this footage was sufficiently provocative in 1938 to permit the film's exhibitors to ballyhoo the picture as "daring" and "controversial." In many cities, it was shown to segregated-by-sex audiences: men were not allowed in the theatre when women were present, and vice versa. In itself nothing special, Birth of a Baby is a prime example of old-fashioned (and very successful) hucksterism
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