Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pre Code Era

From Media History Digital Library
Writers War On Filth
Plan Concerted Action This Week to Prevent Depiction Of Perversion on the Screen
Aroused by the growing tendency to depict perversion on the screen, and fearing that this may have the same baneful effect on pictures that it has had on the stage, the men and women regularly employed as screen writers are organizing a campaign against it. Both the Screen Writers’ Guild and the Writers’ Branch of the Academy are expected to take formal action this week, demanding that the production of stories based on perversion, or containing sequences showing it, be barred. They have no hope that the Hays organization will or can do anything to stop it. and feel that they must effect the cure themselves. One of the most prominent screen writers said yesterday: “If you want to get a job today in pictures at big money, all you have to do is to write a dirty book. Look what has happened recently. One of the most revolting novels ever published as William Faulkner’s ‘Sanctuary,’ but Paramount is making it under The Shame of Temple Drake and another major company has hired the author for its writing staff. The story is so dirty that George Raft refused to play the lead in it and stands suspended as a result, “Tiffany Thayer wrote ‘Thirteen Men’ and ‘Three Sheet’ and although neither of these has been announced for picture production, Thayer himself was hired to write for pictures. “Take a look at the pictures produced recently. There is Sailor’s Luck, with ‘pansies’ all through it There is the Lesbian dance in Sign of the Cross. There were Our Betters and the ‘nance’ cook in Hell’s Highway. There are innumerable examples and they are increasing. “The Hays office obviously has done nothing about it. The Hays moral code is not even a joke any more; it’s just a memory. The industry yells its head off about the terrible things that are done by censors, and then produces pictures which are a stench in the nostrils of every decent man and woman, pictures which are condemned by public opinion without the need of censor boards. “If no one else will act, the writers will. The great majority of men and women in the Guild and in the Academy resent such cesspool stuff and will use every bit of influence they possess, both individually and as organizations, to eliminate it from the screen.”

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