Record #1118

Record Type:
Vincent G. Hart, MPPDA (Eastern Studio Relations)
Carl E. Milliken
Reel 11
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Memo and letter, Sam Sax to Hart, 12 December 1935. Warners have been having so much trouble with censorship of their short subjects by the Eastern PCA office, they have decided to send all Eastern made shorts to Breen in California. Particularly at issue is Trouble in Toyland, which Hart found objectionable because of "the use of very young children in questionable dances" Sax doesn't want to take out "minute things that are meaningless to women and children." NB "uniform deletions". Listing the Warner Bros. short subjects that the PCA have had to demand changes to. There is still difficulty getting the studio to submit scripts prior to production. Warner Bros. continue to drag their feet with the Production Code.


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Long Description:

12 December 1935 Sam Sax of WB to Hart: they plan to send all material on New York-produced WB shorts through the California PCA: "We feel that some of the suggestions made by your office are very unreasonable. I am one of the strongest advocates of censorship, but I certainly am not in favor of taking out minute things that are meaningless to women and children, such as have been suggested in many of our pictures. Aside from asking us to take out the little Spanish girl in the kiddie picture, which I thought was ridiculous, there have been many other occurrences. Furthermore, I do not care to mention any of the pictures that have the same ideas that are passed and should be passed, coming from the Coast.17 December 1935 Hart memo to Milliken, detailing their deletions from WB shorts -- since 07-15-1934, they have asked for deletions in 18 of 154 WB shorts -- in some of the other 136, there had been modifications at a script stage -- deletions were necessary in the 18 either because Warners had not taken any notice of script suggestions or because the material had not been contained in the script. The major problem was over Trouble in Toyland "(formerly called Kiddie Review) with which you are familiar. The discussion centered around the use of very young children in questionable dances. Messrs. Allport, DeBra, Wingate and the writer reviewed this picture and it was finally presented to Mr. Hays in a different form than originally presented to the Production Code Administration, and due to the fact that the objectionable material had been deleted, it was thereafter approved. "During the discussion upon this picture Mr. Howson advised us that Mr. Sax informed him that he would not make the deletions requested and would show the picture in the Warner theatres without the Certificate if necessary. "... Barney Rapp and His Orchestra: We requested the shortening of a dance of a young girl, deleting views in which she was unduly exposed. This deletion was made by Mr. Auster and concurred in by me. Certificate of Approval was issued upon advice that the deletion had been made. "... Serve You Right: Due to Dr. Wingate's absence form the office, Mr. Allport and I previewed this short subject and requested the deletion of a man attired in woman's clothes, carrying on a flirtation and petting party with a barroom tout, together with objectionable dialogue. We conferred with Mr. Howson, who agreed to make the deletion, and Code Certificate of Approval was issued. "... Dad Minds the Baby: We noted a sequence of an infant child exposing its posterior together with a shot of the baby being placed on a small chamber chair, and requested that these shots be deleted because of suggested vulgarity. Deletions were made and Certificate issued. "Edgar Bergen: Within the last two weeks a script was submitted to this office on this picture which depicts the 'boy mayor for a day' idea, and approval on the script was temporarily held up because of the fact, in our opinion, it contained objectionable dialogue used by one of the boys who was to act as mayor. When we reviewed the finished picture, however, we noted that instead in having a 'boy mayor,' a ventriloquist's dummy was used, which, of course, changed the flavor of the short subject. "It was necessary, however, to delete the action of a girl lifting her dress, exposing her thigh and removing money form the top of her stocking to pay a fine. Warner Brothers advised that because of the long shot it was not definitely established whether the silken clad limb belonged to a man or a woman, although in close-up it was definitely established that the person on the witness stand was a tawdry type of girl. ... ""... You will note, therefore, that out of 154 pictures reviewed, minor deletions were requested in only 18, and with the exception of Trouble in Toyland, no serious objection was made by Mr. Howson in complying with our requests."

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