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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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Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

(p.81) 8 Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
Hitchcock and the Censors

John Billheimer

University Press of Kentucky

Mr. and Mrs. Smith was a departure for Hitchcock, a light comedy he took on for the pleasure of working with Carole Lombard. The Production Code censors objected primarily to racy dialogue and the sound of a toilet flushing. Hitchcock eliminated some, but not all, of the objectionable dialogue, retaining the word mistress and other risqu’ references, and replaced the sound of a flushing toilet with the sound of clanging pipes. The Code taboo on toilet imagery was to haunt many Hitchcock films, until he was finally allowed to film a flushing toilet in Psycho.

Keywords:   Alfred Hitchcock, Carole Lombard, light comedy, Production Code Administration, racy dialogue, toilet imagery, forbidden words, Mr. and Mrs. Smith

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