by Tommy Towery
Today’s voluntary movie rating system is aimed at giving parents the information they need to decide whether a film is appropriate for their family.
It might be a shock to our children (or grandchildren) but the current code did not exist when we were in high school.
The current rating system emerged in 1968, when MPAA chairman Jack Valenti replaced the earlier moral censorship guidelines, known as the Hays Code, with a revolutionary new parent-focused rating system.
The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968. It is also popularly, albeit inaccurately, known as the Hays Code, after Will H. Hays, who was the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) from 1922 to 1945. Under Hays' leadership, the MPPDA, later known as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted the Production Code in 1930 and began strictly enforcing it in 1934. The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States.
So what criteria did the Hays Code set? Here is what I found on Wikipedia, and it is a little shocking based on the type of movies we are subjected to today.
The Hays Code enumerated a number of key points known as the "Don'ts" and "Be Carefuls":
Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:
Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words "God," "Lord," "Jesus," "Christ" (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), "hell," "damn," "Gawd," and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
Any licentious or suggestive nudity – in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
The illegal traffic in drugs;
Any inference of sex perversion;
Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact or in silhouette;
Children's sex organs;
Ridicule of the clergy;
Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;
And be it further resolved, That special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated, to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste may be emphasized:
The use of the flag;
International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country's religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
The use of firearms;
Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect which a too-detailed description of these may have upon the moron);
Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
Methods of smuggling;
Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
Sympathy for criminals;
Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
Branding of people or animals;
The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
Rape or attempted rape;
Man and woman in bed together;
Deliberate seduction of girls;
The institution of marriage;
The use of drugs;
Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a "heavy".
While the Hays Code authorized a movie for distribution based on whether it was deemed “moral” according to an exhaustive list of rules, the current movie rating system was born out of the simple notion that the movie industry wouldn’t approve or disapprove what audiences should see, but instead would focus on “freeing the screen” and educating parents to help them make movie-going decisions for their family.
The movie poster at the top of the page was probably the first movie I saw that I was not supposed to "see." I am sure it violated the Hayes Code. I went to see it at the Center Theater, telling my grandmother it was a jungle movie, while all the time I knew it featured a topless girl. I did not realize at the time she was only 16 years old - which would probably qualify as child porn in today's environment. I was probably 13 at the time, though I cannot set a real date, since the Center was famous for showing second-run movies, but more importantly "cheap" movies. At the time it cost ten cents to go to the theater.
The IMDB database has this scenario for Liane, Jungle Goddess" - An expedition discovers blonde 16 year-old Liane venerated by the native tribe in the African jungle and returns her to Hamburg where she is welcomed by her grandfather, ship tycoon Von Amelongen. His nephew Schoening, present head of the firm and prospective heir, tries all to stop his uncle from acknowledging her, including perjury, destruction of evidence, and finally resorting to murder. He dies in an accident driving his car into the river in his flight from the police. There is a subplot around a love quadrangle centered around Thoren, who is secretly loved by biologist Jacqueline who is in turn courted by Hungarian Tibor. Thoren plays paternal protector to Liane before succumbing to her youthful charm and returning with her to the jungle.
If you would like to see this Forbidden Flick it is available on Archive.org by clicking on the link below.
Now I am looking for some help from you. What was the first movie you went to which you knew your parents would not approve because of its subject matter, nudity, language, or violence? Think back now, I know there must be one. Please be a sport and help me out.
Memphis, TN - I am really expecting some of you to tell on yourself about which movie you went to that you knew your parents would not approve of.
The Vintage Television
26 Men is a syndicated American western television series about the Arizona Rangers, an elite group commissioned in 1901 by the legislature of the Arizona Territory and limited, for financial reasons, to twenty-six active members. Russell Hayden was the producer of the series and the co-composer of the theme song. The series aired between October 15, 1957 and June 30, 1959, for a total of 78 episodes.
The program stars Tristram Coffin as the real life Captain Thomas H. Rynning and Kelo Henderson, a Golden Boot Award winner, as Ranger Clint Travis. The series was based on true incidents with episodes centered on the Arizona Rangers' attempts to maintain order.
YOU'RE INVITED TO JOIN THE PARTY!!
Hello, classmates, this is your invitation to join your friends in the class of 1966 in celebrating our 50th year since graduating from good ole Lee High School.
Here are the details:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2016
Party down at the FURNITURE FACTORY -
619 Meridian St. - 6 p.m.
Food & drinks are available for purchase and the music will be 50's & 60's played by a deejay.
Would you like to request a certain song to be played? Or maybe you would like to dedicate a song to someone. Do you remember how it's done?
Here's an example: "This song is dedicated to Esther from John. Thanks for a fun prom night and a wonderful memory in the back of my pick up." ....or something like that.
Send all song requests and dedications to this email address and we will get them to the deejay.
Looking forward to a fun time celebrating our youth!
If you would like to added to the email list, drop an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know you are coming so that we can have a head count. More info coming your way later.
Click on Poster to get a larger view.
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