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Hitchcock and the Censors$
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John Billheimer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177427

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177427.001.0001

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Origins of the Code

Origins of the Code

(p.9) 1 Origins of the Code
Hitchcock and the Censors

John Billheimer

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter traces the origins of film censorship in the US from 1910 onward. It documents the rise of public concern over movie sex and violence and traces the manner in which pressures from religious and social groups led to the formation of individual censorship entities in various states and municipalities. The motion picture industry tried to counter these pressures by forming the Motion Picture Production and Distribution Association under Will Hays and promising to police itself, an effort that proved ineffectual until 1934, when government pressure, the Legion of Decency, and Catholic boycotts led to the requirement that any motion picture produced in the US had to earn the Seal of Approval of the Production Code Administration under Joe Breen.

Keywords:   Joe Breen, Will Hays, Legion of Decency, self-policing, pressure groups, Motion Picture Production and Distribution Association, Production Code Administration, Production Code Seal of Approval, boycotts

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