Production code

In 1930 a new code—which came to be known as the Hollywood Production Code—was written. The industry accepted it nominally, although many movies stretched it to its limits or simply ignored it, prompting more public outcry. Movies made between 1930-34 are thus often referred to as “pre-code,” even though the Production Code was theoretically in effect. Many filmmakers during this period tried to stretch the code to its limits, if not defying it outright, especially in their use of sexual innuendoes, risqué costumes, and implicitly immoral characters. In 1934, due partly in response to 1933 films like Baby Face, Gold Diggers of 1933, She Done Him Wrong, I’m No Angel, and many others, a mechanism was set up to enforce the code. For the next thirty years, virtually every film produced or exhibited in the United States had to receive a seal of approval from the office of Joseph Breen, the head of the Production Code Administration.

The Code

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