Sunday, March 22, 2009

Will Hays- “Don’ts and Be Careful’s”

The early 1920’s was era of tremendous change. People wanted more fun and movie producers realized that they needed to produce movies that had more sex and violence in then. The Churches both Catholic and Protestant opposed this change from clean wholesome movies to movies that showed the moral deficient side of life. The Churches along with, concerned groups, parents, educators and civic organizations were afraid that theses immoral films would have bad effect on the community as a whole and children in particular who might imitate the morals shown in the films.

A department was also established to work with the studios to clean up films before censorship, and in 1927 one member of Hays’s staff drew up a list of “Don’ts and Be Careful’s” that attempted to summarize the requirements of state censorship boards.”

Film makers reacted by organizing the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America a self regulating organization and place Will Hays as the president. Hays main task was to avoid and oppose state censorship so he developed a list of “Don’ts and Be Carefuls” that film makers should adhere to when making a film in order to avoid state censorship rules.

There were 11 Don’ts that ranged from no profanity to no ridiculing of the clergy. These Don’ts were never to be used by the film maker. On the Be Careful’s there were 22 issues that a film maker should be careful about using in a film. Theses ranged from the use of the American flag to excessive kissing. The movie industry never abided by the rules because these were the things that the people wanted to see in the movies and without them the studios could not sell movies or make a profit.


At 12:32 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

You are correct that the industry created it's own code of conduct to prevent further regulation by the state. However, you wrote that the code was not observed. That's not true, the code was observed by the studios who employed censors to make sure that the movies lived up to the Hays Code.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Welcome said...

Actually it wasn't really until 1934. Many ignored the Hays Code until they really enforced it.


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