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The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930– First Enforced in 1934.

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Presentation on theme: "The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930– First Enforced in 1934."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930– First Enforced in 1934.
The “Hays Code.”

2 The Beginning In 1915, the United States Supreme Court ruled that film was a business, and not an art form, and therefore not eligible for 1st Amendment protection. From the 1920s up until the 1960s, local and state censorship boards reviewed films, prevented their presentation, and prosecuted those who showed banned films. Organizations, especially those affiliated with the Catholic Church, organized to press for a national code through the 1920s, especially as films became more open and frank in their content. The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 was established and enforced to control the content of films show in the United States and to give studios a way to nationalize the film review process.

3 Production Code in Practice
Some pre-code films are surprisingly open in their treatment of sexuality, women’s social roles, violence and drug/alcohol use, even by the standards we are used to today. Once the production board gained the power to review and demand changes in films released in the United States, films were censored, and there was considerable self-censorship, in order to adhere to the code. Many films and filmmakers pushed the envelope as far as they could during the twenty year period that the Hays Code was enforced.

4 The End of the Code In 1952, the United States Supreme Court overturned its previous ruling and gave film First Amendment protection. International films and independent films, that were not limited by the Hays Code, were shown by independent distributors through the 1950s and 1960s , putting pressure on Hollywood to deal with controversial topics in a more open manner. In 1968, the Hays Code was replaced by the current MPAA ratings system and films were no longer censored by any oversight body. The MPAA ratings system remains controversial, however, due to the inconsistency of the ratings given and the financial consequences of having a NC-17 rating.

5 Reading the Hays Code: Read the Hays Code, making notes in the margins. Your notes should include questions for clarification, key ideas, and your own reactions. Read “Public Enemy” aloud in your group, pausing at each “text box” to clarify ideas, discuss the questions, and share your own opinions. Discuss and take notes on the questions on the back of “Public Enemy” in your group. Be prepared to share your group’s thoughts with the class.

6 Examining Allegory, Symbolism, Irony and It Happened One Night
What is an Allegory? Is It Happened One Night an allegory? Why or why not? Clarify the different ways in which symbols are used in film. How are symbols used in It Happened One Night? Clarify the different forms of irony. Provide an example of each kind, from any of the films we’ve seen, but especially It Happened One Night. What is your evaluation of It Happened One Night? Is it good or great? Is it timeless or universal? What is your subjective evaluation?

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