Sunday, December 3, 2017

the Rocking Chair : Hollywood

the Rocking Chair : Hollywood: �� You may find this hard to believe, but in 1922 the morals of the movie industry were considered highly questionable after several risqu...


You may find this hard to believe, but in 1922 the morals of the movie industry were considered highly questionable after several risqué films and a number of widespread scandals including murder and rape. At that time the public and many religious, civic, and political organizations were exerting so much pressure for decency laws, that 37 states were complying by introducing almost one hundred censoring bills. 

In hope of rehabilitating Hollywood’s image, and rather than face a mishmash of censoring, the Motion Picture Production Code, popularly known as the Hays code, was created and spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for movies meant for U.S. audiences. 

For more than thirty years Hollywood adhered to these rules, and the producers had to cut many scenes before getting a stamp of approval to release their film, but by the '40sthe Production Code was already weakening.

      As American culture began to change and television arrived on the scene with no restrictions, the Production Code gradually lost its strength until finally in 1968 it was abandoned, and was replaced by the MPAA rating system. 

Pre-code: "Don'ts" and "Be Carefuls", as proposed in 1927.*
The Code enumerated a number of key points known as the "Don'ts" and "Be Carefuls":
Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:

         1.   Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words "God", "Lord", "Jesus", "Christ"    (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), "hell", "damn", "Gawd", and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
          2.    Any licentious or suggestive nudity – in fact, or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
         3.    The illegal traffic in drugs;
         4.    Any inference of sex perversion;
         5.    White slavery;
         6.    Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races;
        7.     Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
        8.     Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact, or in silhouette;
        9.     Children's sex organs;
       10.    Ridicule of the clergy;
       11.    Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;

And be it further resolved, That special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are    
 treated to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste may be emphasized;

       1.     The use of the flag;
       2.     International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country's religion, history,  
               institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
      3.     Arson;
      4.     The use of firearms;
      5.     Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect   
              which a too-detailed description of these may have upon the moron);
      6.     Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
      7.     Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
      8.     Methods of smuggling;
      9.     Third-degree methods;
     10.    Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
     11.    Sympathy for criminals;
     12.    Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
     13.    Sedition; 
     14     Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
     15    Branding of people or animals;
     16    The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
     17.   Rape or attempted rape;
     18.    First-night scenes;
    19.   Man and woman in bed together;
    20    Deliberate seduction of girls;
    21    The institution of marriage;
    22.    Surgical operations;
    23.   The use of drugs;
    24.   Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
    25.   Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a "heavy".

*from Wikipedia
That's quite an impressive list.  Would present-day viewers choose even one or two out of this list for the entertainment world to follow today? 

I would, but then, I'm old.