Author(s): Sheri Chinen Biesen
Film Censorship is a concise overview of Hollywood censorship and efforts to regulate American films. It provides a lean introductory survey of U.S. cinema censorship from the pre-Code years and classic studio system Golden Age'in which film censorship thrived'to contemporary Hollywood. From the earliest days of cinema, movies faced controversy over screen images and threats of censorship. This volume draws extensively on primary research from motion picture archives to unveil the fascinating behind-the-scenes history of cinema censorship and explore how Hollywood responded to censorial constraints on screen content in a changing American cultural and industrial landscape. This primer on American film censorship considers the historical evolution of motion-picture censorship in the United States spanning the Jazz Age Prohibition era, lobbying by religious groups against Hollywood, industry self-censorship for the Hays Office, federal propaganda efforts during wartime, easing of regulation in the 1950s and 1960s, the MPAA ratings system, and the legacy of censorship in later years. Case studies include The Outlaw, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Scarface, Double Indemnity, Psycho, Bonnie and Clyde, Midnight Cowboy, and The Exorcist, among many others.