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Censorship and the Hays Code

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Franzi Florack

on 18 December 2013

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Transcript of Censorship and the Hays Code

* 1915: American Supreme court decides that free speech does not include films
* 1921: New York starts its first censorship board
* 1922: Will H. Hays is employed to 'clean up' a corrupt Hollywood
* Introduction of guidelines in 1924
The Hays Code is introduced
The Don'ts
Casablanca and the Code
The end of the code
Scandal takes Hollywood by storm
* Introduction of the TV and foreign films makes it difficult to enforce the code
* The code weakens and is rewritten due to change in morals
* Late 1950s: first films without certificates
* 1966: Code changed to 'current community standards and good taste' and introduction of the SMA certificate
*1968: Introduction of the MPAA film rating system
* 1929: A catholic and a Jesuit priest enforce the code and in 1931 all studios agree to abide by it
* Worry about impact on children and general moral standards
* religious undertones stated that art could be "morally evil in its effects"
* final decision lay with the studio through an appeals process
* the code was mocked by the press but embraced by the studios
* 1934: Introduction of the 'certificate of approval'
Profanity, suggestive nudity, drugs, sex, white slavery, interracial sex, sexual diseases, scenes of childbirth, genitalia of children, ridicule of the clergy, offense 'to any nation'
* no strict regulations on matters of sex, vice, violence, and moral meaning
* no age restrictions or regulation boards
* Corruption is part of Hollywood
Censorship and the Hays Code
* In 1934 Joseph Ignatius Breen became head of the board and took control
* Suggestion that Rick and Elsa had slept together in Paris was removed
* Code led to the 'romantic' ending
* premiered on 25th May 2942
* average first cinema run but then won three Oscars
Full transcript