Students in CAMS 211: Film History II (winter term 2014) have edited and compiled an anthology of original research, Postwar Film Censorship, 1945-1966: The Production Code Administration Files. Each student author researched and wrote the censorship history of a particular film, making use of primary documents such as the Hollywood Production Code Administration files (available on microfilm in Gould Library) as well as historical film reviews, industry trade papers and other documents.
The Production Code Adminstration (PCA), the Hollywood film industry's own self-regulatory agency, emerged in the 1930s under the auspices of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA, later MPPA), in response to public concerns about the representation of crime, sex, vulgarity, obscenity, profanity, nudity, suggestive dancing and sacrilege in popular film. Before a film was released to the moviegoing public, it required a stamp of approval from the PCA. The Production Code outlined what could and could not be represented in film--with producers often finding creative work-arounds or alternative ways of representing certain content. In their research papers, students reflect on multiple factors at play in film censorship, accounting not only for the workings of the Production Code Administration but also grass roots organizations and religious groups such as the Legion of Decency, legal decisions such as the the 1952 Miracle Decision establishing the protection of motion pictures as a form of free speech, cold-war anxieties about communism and the Hollywood blacklist, and the culture's evolving perspectives on gender, race, class and sexuality.
Postwar Film Censorship, 1945-1966 features outstanding research by these student authors: Michael Happ (Dillinger), Henry Maler (Black Narcissus), Grace Zahrah (The Miracle), Charlie Kilman (Madame Bovary), Brian Kremers (All the King's Men), Jacob Karmel (All About Eve), Shaylin Nguyen (A Streetcar Named Desire), Jordan Palacios (Carrie), Holly Wickham (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Catie Williams (The Wild One), Nora Gregor (Johnny Guitar), Andrew Keene (Johnny Guitar), Theresa Heitz (East of Eden), Francina Block (Kiss Me Deadly), Ibad Jafri (The Man With the Golden Arm), Ken Wang (The Killing), Hannah Sanchez (The Bad Seed), Jonathan Chow (Vertigo), Andrew Cely (Ben-Hur), Grace Davis (Anatomy of a Murder), Charlotte Harris (Some Like It Hot), Phoebi Yu (The Children's Hour), Griffin Johnson (Blow-Up), Gisell Calderon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf), Mikayla Becich (Hurry Sundown).