Record #1187

Record Type:
Francis Stuart Harmon
Carl E. Milliken
Reel 12
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Production Code

Breen and Harmon want to add a new paragraph to the Regulations, specifically to enable them to deal with the increasing number of boys' gang pictures. They ask Milliken to send evidence of public complaints, as ammunition. Includes list of such pictures, completed and in production. there has been criticism of Angels With Dirty Faces. Also, letter, Breen to Al Block (MGM), 9 November 1938, containing list of prison pictures made within the last 2 years.


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Long Description:

23 November 1938 memo from Breen and Harmon to Hays, re Cycle of Boy's Gang Pictures: "This matter, previously discussed, is daily assuming more serious proportions. List attached shows 11 completed films of this type, 8 additional films now in production, and 3 new scripts submitted with more known to be in preparation. "Your attention is called to copy of memo from Fred Beetson to Mr. Breen, attached hereto, reciting the concern of Mr. Thomas of Los Angeles Board of Education and Mrs. Kinney of Industrial Welfare Commission. "Virtually every studio now has a 'boys gang' on the lot. The volume of these productions presents a policy problem of first importance, which a growing volume of protests from the public over Angels With Dirty Faces is almost sure to accentuate. "To meet this situation, it is recommended that the California Association amend its former action in adopting 'Regulations Re Crime in Motion Pictures' by adopting a new section to be numbered 12, and to read substantially as follows: "12. Pictures based upon criminal activities of minors, or which in the opinion of the production Minors Code Administration, may have a demoralizing effect upon children, shall not be approved."Prompt action along the line suggested herein, is important. Similar action Re: Kidnapping stories enabled the Production Code Administration to bring that cycle under control. Equally important social consideration appear to be involved here.

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