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Hollywood Censored

Hollywood Censored
Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Mass Communication

  • Date Published: March 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521565929

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • After a series of sex scandals rocked the film industry in 1922, movie moguls hired Will Hays to clear the image of movies. Hays tried a variety of ways to regulate movies before adopting what became known as the production code. Written in 1930 by a St Louis priest, the code stipulated that movies stress proper behaviour, respect for government, and 'Christian values'. The Catholic Church reinforced these efforts by launching its Legion of Decency in 1934. Intended to force Hays and Hollywood to censor films, the Legion of Decency engineered the appointment of Joseph Breen as head of the Production Code Administration. For the next three decades, Breen, Hays, and the Catholic Legion of Decency virtually controlled the content of all Hollywood films.

    • First book to focus on the role censorship played in the construction and production of Hollywood films
    • Material from the Catholic Legion of Decency archives and other material are published here for the first time
    • Shows the degree to which censors were responsible for the images on the screen
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Well-written account of film censorship.' Heythrop Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521565929
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.586kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Restricting entertainment: the movies censored
    2. The Hays office and a moral code for the movies
    3. Sex, sex and more sex
    4. Movies and modern literature
    5. Beer, blood and politics
    6. Legions march on Hollywood
    7. Sex with a dash of moral compensation
    8. Film politics and industry policy
    9. Conclusion

  • Author

    Gregory D. Black, University of Missouri, Kansas City

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