Notable moments in pre-Code Hollywood: The Sign of the Cross (1932), in which Cecil B. DeMille re-created in sadistic detail the excesses of the “Arena Games” in Nero’s Rome.

Highlights include gladiator vs. bear wrestling matches, Amazonian women beheading pygmies, and sexy Christian martyrs getting served up to crocodiles, lions, and gorillas for the entertainment of spectators (many of these scenes were cut by censors after the Production Code went into effect, but have since been restored).