America in the 1920s saw the emergence of a certain type of gentleman criminal. We strip away the timeline to reveal the Burlesque beauties that often rode alongside these beastly villains.
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The term given to the American experience during the 1920s is aptly derived: the Roaring Twenties. The moniker evokes success and grandeur, an economy thriving on the steam of a newly industrialized man-powered engine accelerating into full-speed, purring. But there also existed a frightening duality, a seedy underbelly of crime and corruption that flourished in tandem with the burgeoning American dream. Within that world lived a breed of anti-hero who deftly straddled the line, riding the duality for all it was worth and succeeding in the face of opposition from both sides. As writers and directors rush to recontextualize those times and personas through modern filmmaking, one such character has emerged in the form of Nucky Thompson, the many-faced protagonist of HBO’s hit series Boardwalk Empire. In anticipation of the long-awaited third season, we’re stripping away the timeline to reveal the beauties that often rode alongside those beastly villains, in a Playboy.com original we call The Roaring ’20s Romp.