1930 Motion Picture Production Code Summary

The Motion Picture Production Code (1930, – 1 -Association of Motion Picture Producers Inc. and The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America) The Motion Picture Production Code, made to control the making of talking, synchronized and silent motion pictures, in order to provide wholesome entertainment to the public. There are twelve sections including Crimes against the law, sex, vulgarity, obscenity, profanity, costume, dances, religion, locations, national feelings, titles and repellent subjects.

Under Crimes it said that no movie should be produced that will lower viewers moral standards or lead them to sympathize with the side of crime, evil or sin. The technique of murder, brutal killings, revenge and methods of crime including theft, safe cracking, arson and dynamiting should be shown with little detail in a way that will not motivate imitation. The use of liquor and firearms should only occur when they are vital to plot or characterization and illegal drug trafficking and methods of smuggling should never be shown.

Under the section governing the use of sex it says that motion pictures should not imply that low forms of sex are common or accepted in order to uphold the sanctity of marriage. Excessive kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive gestures, sex perversion, sex relationships between white and black races, white slavery, sex hygiene, venereal diseases, scenes of childbirth and children’s sex organs should not be displayed or inferred. Unless they are a necessary part of the plot, adultery, scenes of passion, seduction, and rape should not be suggested and should never be displayed.

The treatment of disgusting, unpleasant subjects should show good taste. Obscenity in word, gesture, or by suggestion- including pointed profanity such as god, Jesus Christ, and lord- is forbidden. Complete nudity, costumes that permit indecent or undue exposure are also not to be shown. Dances that suggest or represent sexual actions or excessive passion are considered obscene and therefore are not approved. No film can ridicule religion or cast ministers as comic or villainous characters.

Religious ceremonies and sensitive locations should be handled respectfully and with good taste. The use of the flag and other nation’s history, institution, and citizenry should be respectful and represented fairly. Indecent or obscene titles are forbidden. Legal punishment for crimes such as hangings, electrocutions, third degree methods, brutality, branding of people or animals, cruelty to children or animals, the sale of women or their virtue, and surgical operations should be treated within the limits of good taste.

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