FILM 1701 Lecture Notes - Payne Fund Studies, Will H. Hays, Motion Picture Production Code

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
York University
FILM 1701
Week 1: Production Code Administration
Censorship in Hollywood Cinema
Hollywood scandals (1921-23)
Threat of government/state censorship
Hollywood not protected by the First Amendment of United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
1915 U.S. Supreme Court decision Mutual v. Ohio
Hollywood self-censorship
MPPDA (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America), 1922 Will Hays
Purity Code of 1922: “Don’ts and Be Carefuls”
“compensating moral value”
1927: draft of Motion Picture Production Code
1930: Code to Maintain Social and Community Values
Payne Fund Studies (1929-1935), Our Movie Made Children (1933)
a) Legion of Decency
b) Production Code Administration (PCA) Joseph Breen
Slow fade of the PCA
1. Paramount decrees of 1948
Hollywood: vertically integrated: production, distribution, and exhibition
2. 1952: the Miracle decision: movies are “a significant medium for communication of ideas”;
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