Let’s talk about sex.
As a response to religious condemnation of salacious and pornographic content in American cinema (content that would likely be PG-13 at the most by today’s standards), Hollywood implemented the Motion Picture Production Code in 1930. Colloquially known as the Hays Code (so called after the founding father of the Production Code office), the Production Code set a list of guidelines that every major Hollywood feature from 1930 to 1968 was expected to follow. Sex, drugs, violence, and all other sorts of seedy behavior were verboten from the Hollywood screen. Of course, anyone who’s ever watched a film noir knows sex and violence didn’t just disappear from the movies. And, in an era of graphic, unnecessary nudity and explicit & purposeless violence, I occasionally yearn for the subtlety and clever sexy suggestion of the Hays Code era.
Let me be clear. I’m not defending the Hays Code. Censorship in all of…
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