From its very beginnings in the 1890s, motion pictures have delighted the public—and upset civic and religious authorities who felt that movies needed to be regulated to protect “innocent” minds and discourage immorality. As more and more cities and states established film censorship boards during the early 1900s, Hollywood recognized they needed to take some kind of action. The result was the 1934 Hays Code, which set up strict rules of language and conduct for studio films that lasted more than three decades. As the times changed, the Code was replaced by the voluntary MPAA film ratings system in 1968. And yet, fifty years later, the ratings system of G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 films still continues to have its own set of problems. This virtual presentation, by film and TV historian Brian Rose, will look at 125 years of movie censorship and the many ways Hollywood has tried to deal with this continuing issue. This program is part of the Library's month-long exploration of the topics of censorship and freedom of expression. (Sponsored by the Friends of the Library)
Please note this is a virtual only event available on Zoom.