Record #398

Record Type:
John V. Wilson, aka Jack
Carl E. Milliken
Reel 4
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California office
EDITORIAL COMMENT: See also Frames 04-2338 to -04-2343, Joy on the development of the SRC.

Wilson suggests closer personal relations between Studio Relations personnel and the various censor boards (except Pennsylvania, which is unapproachable). Also, "in addition to the production file now in existence and operating, a dossier should be maintained on each censor board, on each foreign country with which we usually have trouble, on each group representing a section of public opinion, and on each subject of picture material usually objected to." SRC


Censorship (112), Foreign market (45), Pennsylvania (2), Public relations (61) Show all keywords…


Long Description:

Wilson wants additional record-keeping other than the production files which are currently operating -- on on censor boards and foreign censorship, and a card index by subject matter: "It may be found, in spite of what was said at the meeting last Tuesday, that there will be disposition on the part of production staffs to require us to give them the benefit of our own conclusions based on the record. This we have tried to evade but have often been forced to accede to on the Coast. It is often necessary, because there may not be anything in the record exactly in point and we must them submit our own opinion based on our better knowledge of the usual reaction of the different censors and of the points of view of different sections of public opinion." In a wonderfully phrased observation, Wilson also argues, "I think it is a fallacy to ignore the personnel of the different censor boards. While we may refuse to admit the necessity for censorship, it is better to keep in mind that most of the censors have some human qualities and that a little intercourse with them, always with due regard to the proprieties, will be helpful." The biggest problem appears to be with Pennsylvania, "which is in a class by itself and unapproachable." An instance is provided in D28-22 about Varsity, produced by David Selznick. Joy argues that some drinking scenes will be cut because the censor boards will only look at the start of the scene -- they "use snap judgement and allow first impressions to govern their actions." This argument underlines the argument Joy has with censor boards over incidents or narrative -- censors cut on first viewing, and watch looking only for incidents, which they delete regardless of context. It's easy enough to see why this sort of practice should so irritate Joy, etc., when their work on detail comes to nothing. But there is an underlying argument about the methodological underpinnings of censorship going on here, which also involve, if at some remove, theories of the audience's construction.]

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