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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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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 24 November 2020

Hitchcock in Ascendance

Hitchcock in Ascendance

Chapter:
(p.191) 24 Hitchcock in Ascendance
Source:
Hitchcock and the Censors
Author(s):

John Billheimer

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813177427.003.0025

This chapter describes Hitchcock’s working relationships during his most productive years as a director. Under terms negotiated by his agent, Lew Wasserman, ownership of the films he directed for Paramount reverted to Hitchcock eight years after their initial release, eventually pushing his earnings well beyond those of his peers. As Hitchcock’s star ascended, the influence of Joe Breen and the Production Code declined. Joe Breen’s health failed, and he was replaced in 1954 by his assistant, Geoffrey Shurlock, who was more accommodating than his predecessor with directors he admired, like Hitchcock. The Code itself received a major makeover in 1956 with the rescinding of flat bans on illegal drugs, abortion, white slavery, and kidnapping. Restrictions on such long-forbidden words as damn and hell were also lifted, and some directors, like Otto Preminger, openly challenged the Code and released films, notably The Moon Is Blue, without a Code Seal. Subsequent chapters include detailed discussions on the impacts of censorship on each of the eleven films Hitchcock made during his glory years.

Keywords:   Alfred Hitchcock, Joe Breen, Geoffrey Shurlock, Otto Preminger, Production Code Administration, forbidden words, Paramount film ownership reversion, illegal drugs, abortion, Lew Wasserman

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