The day that Hollywood invented the machine to censor movies

Classic Hollywood has some parallel reality where marriages rarely share bed, where there is no homosexuality or interracial love. The dream factory drew a world in which institutions (almost) always worked and the wicked received their punishment. Among other reasons, because that of American cinema is also a history of censorship. Of course, in the American way: in the form of self-regulation at the full movies download website for more details.

The earliest sound films had intensified the complaints of Puritanism. The multiplication of state or municipal committees provoked producers’ concern. The road was marked: in order to avoid facing dozens of censors with changing criteria (including a bizarre prohibition on the appearance of pregnant women in movies), the industry pushed its own code. He listed prohibited topics, from the ridicule of the clergy to venereal diseases. Other issues should be treated “carefully”, such as rape, drug use or prostitution.

In 1930 he began to apply the so-called Hays Code, named in memory of one of its creators. But it was in the summer of 1934 that an authority was created with the power to prohibit those films that did not obey its directives. The setback was extreme, as there was not much scope for negotiation: studies had to practice whatever changes were demanded, and began to dismiss projects that anticipated conflicting. All of this also had a political dimension: leftism had to be silenced or condemned, and corruption had always to be shown in the form of specific cases.

European emigrants like Fritz Lang or Otto Preminger (who, as producer, noted for being especially challenging) did not leave their amazement. In America there was not a government-run cinema, but there were clandestine scrubs during scriptwriting. Adapting Anna Karenina became a nightmare. The comedian mea West must stop provoking and being a moralist. Some filmmakers sharpened their wits, trying to transgress through misunderstandings and insinuations. The coexistence was long: censorship would reign in Hollywood until 1968, already weakened by television and independent studies. It was then repurposed as an age rating system.

One of the objectives of the Hays Code was to hinder the relationship between film and adult literature. Hollywood wanted to gain legitimacy by adapting novels of prestige that, moreover, came wrapped in scandal and free publicity. But agencies such as the League of Decades did not want a popular audience to have access to Theodore Dreiser’s realistic stories, the harsh Southern visions conceived by William Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell, John Steinbeck’s ethical outrage, or the crude prose of Ernest Hemingway.

Several works by these writers came to the screen, especially after the crack of 29. In the early years of the Hays Office, they represented some of the most intense sources of tension between producers and censors. Ann Vickers, based on a book by Sinclair Lewis, came to cinemas after a real battle that lengthened the time (and cost) of production. Once the Hays Office got the power to veto premieres, studies took note: due to the economic risks involved, such adaptations were much less frequent.

Farewell to the Arms (1932)

free online movie downloadThe first novel by Ernest Hemingway, born of his experiences in World War I, criticized the Italian army. So his first film version was born facing the Puritan groups (naturally represented a love outside marriage) … and Mussolini’s diplomacy. The literary original underwent a brushing: the romance of the protagonists was legitimized by a strange ecclesiastical pseudo-approval, and whitened the Italian sinking in the battle of Caporetto.

The hero no longer deserted to save himself from the internal purges of the army, but by romantic preoccupations. Anti-war was diluted. Hemingway was outraged by these changes. The later version of 1957 would not improve things: it was more faithful to the letter of the book, but instead of molding the protagonists to make them more acceptable, openly condemned their behavior.


The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

free film downloadAfter a time of acclimatization, the same filmmakers coexisted with censorship in a more standardized way. In that context, John Ford (Centauros Del Desierto) managed to film a social novel without leaving many scars on the celluloid, through subtle manipulations (such as altering the order of events) and the elimination of scabrous details. Instead, he kept controversial material like the bosses’ murder of a socialist preacher.

The book alternated the experiences of the Joad, deprived of their lands in the Great Depression, with general critics of unethical capitalism and bank abuse. In the film, it imposes the family history and personality of its matriarch: resistant but resigned, worthy patient, determined to keep the group together. The result is creatively excellent, although it dilutes the political dimension of the literary original. Ford later ventured with another controversial work, The Tobacco Route. And failed in the attempt.


God’s Little Acre (1958)

site to download moviesWith McCarthyism, the Hays Office was reinforced again. They were times of black lists and unique thinking. In this context, Anthony Mann (Cimarron) brought to the screens a bestseller, La Parcela de Dios, which had been judicially denounced for being pornographic. Its author, Erskine Caldwell, described a southern family destroyed by greed and lust.

The film systematically sweetens a multitude of situations: it eliminates scenes of voyeurism or striped sex in rape, and you see lusty situations with passionate melodrama clothes. There are also political alterations: a strike becomes a factory closure for lack of profits, and a police murder is transformed into accidental death at the hands of a scary vigilante. As on so many other occasions, the end suffers great changes: a fratricide disappears, the family remains united and the initial comedic tone recovers. The criticism remained by the way, replaced by a friendly pictures quismo. Visit for online free movies.

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