Record #422

Record Type:
Carl E. Milliken
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel 4
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Don'ts and Be Carefuls

Milliken points out that despite Joy's efforts (which have achieved a good deal of success) censor cuts are still being made to member companies" movies. Most of these are trivial, and stem from unnecessary breaches of the Don'ts and Be-Carefuls. In view of the guarantees already undertaken by the studios, this presents Milliken with legislative and public relations headaches. He feels crime pictures need not be a problem if "each picture showing a crime theme is correct in its attitude forming influence."


Censorship (112), Crime (24), Donts and Be Carefuls (10), Profanity (4), Public relations (61), Sex-hygiene films (5), Titles - offensive (5) Show all keywords…



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Long Description:

Memo, Milliken to Hays, recording recent conferences "about the necessity of approaching the important censorship boards in the hope of working out a more uniform practice regarding deletions, in view of the serious inconvenience and great expense involved in making changes after pictures have been synchronized." - notes great improvement in deletion record for Sept and first 2 weeks of October - in Sept, in New York "which may be taken as the most reliable, on the whole, of the state censorship boards, " there were eliminations from only 13 of 100 pictures, and only 3 from MPPDA companies - all "trivial from the public relations standpoint, and none of them had anything to do with sex." October was not quite as good, but those eliminations "have to do for the most part with supposed brutality or crime situations which are neither essential to the pictures nor very serious from a public relations standpoint.He spells out four danger areas: "Each of these, you will observe, arises out of the use by our member companies in their theatres of pictures produced by outsiders who have not taken advantage of Colonel Joy's advice, or in occasional instances where his advice has not been sought or has been disregarded by our own people. "Profanity in titles - less frequent in 1st half of 1928 than previously.Sex Hygiene pictures: "Always such exhibitions are fruitful sources of legislative and public relations trouble, and again, as in the case of the profanity 'Don't', such showings are a distinct violation of our promise to the government and to the public. "Distribution of pictures made by other companies outside the MPPDA which violate the 'Don'ts' - and encloses a Film Daily clipping of October 29 suggesting that the FTC will not take action against theatres boycotting productions that violate standards.Crime: "Notwithstanding the amount of discussion now going on, I do not personally regard this worry as being anywhere near so serious as the three above referred to." "To summarize the situation from a public relations standpoint, it is this: Colonel Joy's formula is working splendidly. The results indicate that he is forecasting public reaction to pictures with amazing accuracy. Yet we are going to have very serious legislative and public relations trouble if these other situations, more or less on the fringe of the industry, are not handled by drastic means."

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