The Hays Code

The Hays Code

The forum posting requires you to examine the Hays Code for yourself. Please refer to the previous page for information on Hollywood and the development of the Hays Code. Your post should be at least 250 words and contain specific details answering the following questions. Focus on the listed questions rather than just summarizing background material on the Hays Code:

1. Do you notice any common themes on the list?

2. Is there anything that you are surprised was not on the list?

3. How might this list have led to unforeseen consequences. Be creative on this one!

4. List at least one question or an additional comment about the Hays Code

I know there will be at least some questions as there are several points on here that every face-to-face class and online class will ask about. I will use my comments to answer the questions that I can. One note right now: #25 on the second list does not refer to weight or body type. I want to see what you come up with for that one but that is one misinterpretation from previous semesters I hope to avoid.

You will find the Hays Code posted on this page (Remember it is broken into two lists. The first list involves concepts that are almost always banned, with some rare exceptions. The second list is the be careful list. The concepts on the second list are not prohibited but filmmakers must take care in how they portray them):

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:

  1. 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;
  2. Any licentious or suggestive nudity-in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
  3. The illegal traffic in drugs;
  4. Any inference of sex perversion;
  5. White slavery;
  6. Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
  7. Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
  8. Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact or in silhouette;
  9. Children’s sex organs;
  10. Ridicule of the clergy;
  11. 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:

  1. The use of the flag;
  2. International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country’s religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
  3. Arson;
  4. The use of firearms;
  5. 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);
  6. Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
  7. Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
  8. Methods of smuggling;
  9. Third-degree methods;
  10. Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
  11. Sympathy for criminals;
  12. Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
  13. Sedition;
  14. Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
  15. Branding of people or animals;
  16. The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
  17. Rape or attempted rape;
  18. First-night scenes;
  19. Man and woman in bed together;
  20. Deliberate seduction of girls;
  21. The institution of marriage;
  22. Surgical operations;
  23. The use of drugs;
  24. Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
  25. Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a “heavy”.
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