Program Details

Censored Cinema: The Hollywood Production Code

Margery Marcus
Video Catch-up

Course Description

The morality police had their hands full in the 1920s and 1930s. Women tested convention with shorter hemlines and bobbed hair, ultimately fighting for and winning the vote. Prohibition sent alcohol consumption underground in speakeasies, and the nascent film industry in Hollywood was awash in murder and drug scandals. With the threat of a federal censorship program looming, and under pressure from conservative and religious crusaders, Hollywood agreed to deliver wholesome family entertainment to moviegoers. Their answer: the Motion Picture Production Code, ensuring that every American film would have a “clean moral tone.” Join Marcus as she examines the years of the Production Code from its start in the 1920s to its last gasp in the 1960s. She discusses the Code’s prohibitions against “scenes of passion” and “pointed profanity.” She looks at censored films, Supreme Court cases, and efforts to protect people with “susceptible” minds (read women and children) from films of questionable taste. Marcus also examines social conditions that led to the demise of the Code in 1968 and the rating system which replaced it. Her lecture includes a colorful PowerPoint and a list of films censored in America through the 21st century.

About the Instructor

  • Margery Marcus, PhD, an award-winning English teacher, retired from Broward County Public Schools after a long and successful career, both as a district-level administrator and as a teacher. She has taught English at every grade level from middle school through graduate school, currently focusing on lecturing to adult audiences. Her career has been guided by a deep love of learning, and a passion for literature ignited when she read the very first page of Charlotte’s Web as a child. Her enthusiasm for sharing great stories told by great writers motivates her to bring literature to life for her audiences. Marcus holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The College of New Jersey, a Master’s in Education from The University of North Carolina, and a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeatern University.

Upcoming programs presented by Margery Marcus.

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