In trying to prepare myself mentally for Wendy Lu’s Roaring Twenties challenge, I found this… (the whole site is worth looking over). This article, however, reminds me of some debates over sexuality and how human nature is portrayed in books and other media that have been flying around of late.

Mary Miley's Roaring Twenties

      Did you ever wonder why old movies were so comparatively free from violence, foul language, and sex? Why there was no blood on murdered people, why lovers kissed so chastely, why “My dear, I don’t give a damn” was a line that shocked audiences in 1939?

       An immediate outcome of the Fatty Arbuckle scandal of 1921 was the creation of a self-censorship board, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association of America, later shortened to the Motion Picture Association of America. This was a “voluntary” system meant to clean up the pictures by keeping movies free from immorality and thus keeping the threat of government censorship at bay.

       Will Hays, its first director, remained in his position for 24 years. By 1930, his rules had crystallized into something known as the Hays Code. This lasted until the 1960s when it was replaced by the…

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6 responses to “

  1. Interesting! I’d never really looked into it before.

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    • I know. Somehow, unless I take the time to actually stop and look, I tend to think… “Oh, that’s the way it’s always been”. And given how you commented about the Kdramas, well, it’s the same sort of thing, in a sense.

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  2. I knew that movies had been less censored in the beginning, but had absolutely no idea that the Fatty Arbuckle scandal was such a catalyst. I’m fascinated by the Roaring 20’s, btw. Thanks for posting this. 🙂

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    • There is something quite alluring about the Roaring Twenties, isn’t there? I love how so many “worlds” of society suddenly collided during that period. But I cannot claim credit for this post. If you enjoy all things “20’s”, then you should definitely check into Mary Miley’s main page.

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  3. Now I wanna know MORE!!!! If I can pull myself out of Elizabethan England, I will!

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