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The production code administration: setting the tone for movies in America - Essay Example

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The production code administration: setting the tone for movies in America

However, Hays' early efforts were not to make the movies safe for the public, but rather to keep the government out of the movie business. His attempts would haunt him for years, as the PCA would grow to encompass cultural warfare, social engineering, political propaganda, and influencing foreign policy. Breen, and his Legion of Decency, joined forces with Hays to create an organization with the intent to control society, advance their individual political ideals, and form the future of American society.
Discussion
It is difficult to look into the minds of men that are no longer alive and able to speak for themselves. We have their rulings, their writings, and their speeches to interpret within the parameters of today's standards. It needs to be noted that the early years of the PCA were the years of the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, bootlegging, and a socialist uprising that was generating an anti-corporate attitude. By measuring what issues were important to the PCA we can reconstruct the thoughts of the men involved. Viewing this information as an integral part of the history of the time with the dismal economic times, racism, sexism, and America's entry into the arena of a world power can give us a measure of the intentions of the PCA.
When Joe Breen joined the PCA, he modeled the original codes on the Catholic Movie Code. They were very detailed and specific about moral issues. A portion of the code insisted that a film must never "...lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin"(Heins). However, the measurement for...
It is difficult to look into the minds of men that are no longer alive and able to speak for themselves. We have their rulings, their writings, and their speeches to interpret within the parameters of today’s standards. It needs to be noted that the early years of the PCA were the years of the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, bootlegging, and a socialist uprising that was generating an anti-corporate attitude. By measuring what issues were important to the PCA we can reconstruct the thoughts of the men involved. Viewing this information as an integral part of the history of the time with the dismal economic times, racism, sexism, and America’s entry into the arena of a world power can give us a measure of the intentions of the PCA. When Joe Breen joined the PCA, he modeled the original codes on the Catholic Movie Code. They were very detailed and specific about moral issues. A portion of the code insisted that a film must never "...lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin"(Heins). However, the measurement for evil and sin were social deviances that were at almost the sole discretion of Joe Breen and his personal viewpoint. These personal viewpoints included nudity, kissing, brutality, divorce, extra-marital affairs, and other violations of the strict interpretation of the Catholic Movie Code. Still, the PCA did not stop there. ...Show more
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Summary

Beginning in 1922,the movie industry came under the scrutiny of the Hays Committee and later the Production Code Administration. While their early efforts were to police the movie industry against obscenities and brutality,it later grew into an organization that would have vast influence over political thought…
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