Record #505

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Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
MPPDA (Board of Directors)
Reel 7
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Meetings - Re Don'ts
Additional text in Transcription. EDITORIAL COMMENT This is the first major meeting discussing the revision of the Don'ts into what became the Production Code.

Re redrafting of formula to Code - Hays recites the history of the crises in 1924 and 1927, the problem of "the injection of vulgarities into pictures." "During the past two or three years we have patiently and on the whole successfully urged the censors and the public to permit you to exercise a greater freedom in the selection of your story material. Quite consciously during that time there has been a broadening of themes to the advantage of box-office and artistic values."


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The protection of your investments and your property from censorship and other confiscatory legislation has made it necessary for me to come to you from time to time with suggestions which you have readily accepted. ... Talking pictures have changed many things. All the things you have done heretofore have been with the silent pictures in mind. This is no longer a major concern. Your field of selection is gradually broadening. The public and the censors seem to understand that more sophisticated modern pictures are proper. This leave us facing a new situation, and while there will be in some respects more liberality, the situation is yet one which we must face just as firmly and just as courageously as the situations in the past were met. The time has probably come when thought may well be given to re-studying, with a view to recapitulating, the various formulae. We should now consider how to continue to exercise a highly desirable freedom in choosing motion picture subjects without endangering your investments by the injection of unnecessary vulgarity and coarseness or the overdoing of sophisticated subjects. The public will accept and the censors are more prone to approve the broader themes which may be used if good taste prevails and vulgarity and indecency are omitted. Neither the public, however, not the censors will accept vulgarity and indecencies and as sure as these vulgarities appear you will meet with confiscatory legislation. ... I propose to appoint a committee of the representatives of our members, on which the eastern studios will be represented, to make a study with a view of making such recommendations as the findings warrant.

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