All posts tagged: production code administration

Pre-Code and “Scarface”‘s Impact

In July of 1934, the Production Code Administration of Hollywood, or commonly recognized as the Hays Office, began to regulate Hollywood made films. But before this occurred, there was a brief four-year period from 1930 to 1934 where films had more ability to venture out and have free creative expression. Those four years, before filmmakers agreed to adhere to strict regulations of what they can and cannot show on screen, are now known as the pre-code Hollywood years. During these pre-code years, many films pushed censorship rules, as they were not heavily enforced, films such as Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson’s 1932 Scarface. The Hays Office was concerned films were doing a disservice to the public by allowing sex and violence on screens. Scarface is a gangster film that not only included many violent scenes and gun use, but is also based on the real-life events of gangster, Al Capone. The Production Code Administration was concerned that making this into a film would glamorize the gangster lifestyle. Taking nearly a year to be released due …

“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 …