Film Censorship

Regulating America's Screen

Sheri Chinen Biesen

Wallflower Press

Film Censorship

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Pub Date: August 2018

ISBN: 9780231183130

144 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $22.00£16.99

Pub Date: August 2018

ISBN: 9780231851138

144 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $21.99£16.99

Film Censorship

Regulating America's Screen

Sheri Chinen Biesen

Wallflower Press

Film Censorship is a concise overview of Hollywood censorship and efforts to regulate American films. It provides a lean introductory survey of U.S. cinema censorship from the pre-Code years and classic studio system Golden Age—in which film censorship thrived—to contemporary Hollywood. From the earliest days of cinema, movies faced controversy over screen images and threats of censorship. This volume draws extensively on primary research from motion picture archives to unveil the fascinating behind-the-scenes history of cinema censorship and explore how Hollywood responded to censorial constraints on screen content in a changing American cultural and industrial landscape.

This primer on American film censorship considers the historical evolution of motion-picture censorship in the United States spanning the Jazz Age Prohibition era, lobbying by religious groups against Hollywood, industry self-censorship for the Hays Office, federal propaganda efforts during wartime, easing of regulation in the 1950s and 1960s, the MPAA ratings system, and the legacy of censorship in later years. Case studies include The Outlaw, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Scarface, Double Indemnity, Psycho, Bonnie and Clyde, Midnight Cowboy, and The Exorcist, among many others.
Through original and rich case studies, this volume explores the authorship, power and organization of censorship in compelling ways. Enormously valuable. Ellen Scott, University of California, Los Angeles
This series is tailor-made for a modular approach to film studies...an indispensable tool for both lecturers and students. Professor Paul Willemen, University of Ulster
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1. Pre-Code Era
2. Enforcing the Motion Picture Production Code
3. Post-war Developments
4. Pushing the Envelope: The Demise of Code Censorship
Epilogue: The Post-PCA Legacy of Censorship
Notes
Appendix
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Sheri Chinen Biesen is a Professor of Film History at Rowan University. She is the author of Music in the Shadows: Noir Musical Films (Johns Hopkins 2014) and Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir (Johns Hopkins 2005).