All posts tagged: censorship

“Pinky”: Challenging and Changing the Production Code Administration

From 1930 to 1968, the Motion Picture Production Code helped guide and censor film creators in terms of what was appropriate or inappropriate for the general audience. As time progressed, the comments that the Production Code Administration (PCA) had on films went from recommendations to strict guidelines before being disbanded in 1968. While the PCA was strict in the beginning, they began to be more accepting of films that did not follow their guidelines. One such film was Elia Kazan’s 1949 film Pinky. The production code was developed around the idea of protecting the youth and general audience in America from suggestive content in films, and the PCA was established to enforce this code. When the PCA first began evaluating films in 1930, they were essentially providing suggestions to the filmmakers rather than limiting what could or could not be shown. This changed in 1934 when the PCA adopted the policy that all films had to be certified by the board before they could be released. The PCA, fronted by Joseph Breen, was much stricter …

Examining the Impact of Censorship on Themes of “She Done Him Wrong”

The multifaceted singer, actress, and writer Mae West “found her career on sex.”[1] West claimed her fame through Vaudeville and Broadway, and she made her way onto the big screen in Hollywood where she saw just as much success. Although West was very popular with both men and women due to her strong, feisty personality and comfort with her sexuality, this popularity did not translate to Hollywood’s censors. During the production of She Done Him Wrong, an adaptation of West’s play Diamond Lil starring West herself, the Studio Relations office tweaked many aspects of the film in order to make it acceptable by Code standards. The film centers around West’s character, Lady Lou, a singer who gets mixed up dealing with her past, present, and potential future lovers. The Code review files provide evidence of the effect of the Code and the ways in which it dealt with potential offensive material, specifically the film’s sexual references. Many factors led to the rise of censorship in the film industry. Scandals involving stars and directors “drove Hollywood …