Record #436

Record Type:
Gabriel Hess
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel 5
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Censor - sound
Additional text in Transcriptions. EDITORIAL COMMENT: Transcriptions refer to problems of censorship in relation to sound movies-including the legal cases and the issue of discs. and also reference to some choice instances of early sound breaches of the profanity Don'ts.

Initial responses of various state censorship boards to the introduction of sound. Hess is anxious to find a test case to bring the matter to a head, but the production companies are reluctant to risk a loss of income pending the outcome of such a case.


Censorship (112), Sound technology (24) Show all keywords…



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CENSOR - SOUND. 1928. Memorandum from Hess to Hays re Sound Censorship, 10-20-1928: Supplementing my memorandum to you of August 27, 1928 re: Censorship of language when synchronous with motion pictures: - IN PENNSYLVANIA It was concluded pending a decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the two cases now appealed in that Court, one favorable to our contention, the other unfavorable, that no further attempt be made to make a test case. However, all submissions of language are being made under protest. OHIO A further attempt to make a test case is being made with the Movietone picture of Bernard Shaw. Mr. Pettijohn informs me this morning that the picture will not be rejected by the censor because of the nature of the subject. Another subject should be secured, the subject matter of which would force the censor to take a positive decision. I appreciate it will be difficult to find such a subject because of the reluctance of all the companies to tie up all the revenue in the State of Ohio which would in the usual course of business be secured from the release of such a picture pending a final determination of the test case. Here also all submissions of language are being made under protest. VIRGINIA It is hoped that a test case can be made of the Movietone picture of Bernard Shaw. Mr. Burt New now has a print of this picture in his possession and is waiting word as to the employment of counsel. In this connection see my memorandum to you of this day. Protests against the submission of language are also being made in Virginia as well as in Maryland and Florida. KANSAS I am informed by Mr. Pettijohn that the State censors do not require the submission of language, and therefore it was deemed best for the time being not to disturb the present condition. MARYLAND Nothing further is being done in Maryland other than to protest against the submission of language awaiting the outcome of the action of the censors in Virginia upon the Shaw picture. NEW YORK I understand that it is the policy not to do anything in New York for the time being because of the loss of revenue that would be sustained by tying up the picture of any company in a test case. G.L. Hess.

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