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Added by Gaby on 16 Aug 2011 05:58
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Movies against law (The Hays Code)

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General Principles

✦ No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
People who added this item 2637 Average listal rating (1540 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7
Crime: An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.




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People who added this item 1986 Average listal rating (1322 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Wrongdoing: Illegal or dishonest behavior.




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People who added this item 7568 Average listal rating (4988 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 9
Evil: profoundly immoral and malevolent.




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People who added this item 486 Average listal rating (301 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
Sin: An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.



... greed...

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✦ Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
People who added this item 6561 Average listal rating (4244 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Standards of life: Principles of conduct informed by notions of honor and decency.





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✦ Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
People who added this item 3348 Average listal rating (2120 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.2
Law: …the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties…





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Particular Applications: 1. Crimes Against the Law

► Murder
People who added this item 4621 Average listal rating (2838 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
▷ The technique of murder must be presented in a way that will not inspire imitation.




John Hinckley, Jr. claimed that it was his obsession with Foster's role that made him attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Taxi Driver formed part of the delusional fantasy of John Hinckley, Jr. which triggered his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981, an act for which he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Hinckley stated that his actions were an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster, on whom Hinckley was fixated, by mimicking Travis's mohawked appearance at the Palantine rally. His attorney concluded his defense by playing the movie for the jury.
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People who added this item 5179 Average listal rating (3527 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
▷ Brutal killings are not to be presented in detail.


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People who added this item 7792 Average listal rating (5008 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1
▷ Revenge in modern times shall not be justified.


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► Methods of Crime should not be explicitly presented.
People who added this item 758 Average listal rating (517 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
▷ Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc., should not be detailed in method.


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People who added this item 9792 Average listal rating (5750 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
▷ The use of firearms should be restricted to the essentials.


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► Illegal drug traffic must never be presented.
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► The use of liquor in American life, when not required by the plot or for proper characterization, will not be shown.
People who added this item 701 Average listal rating (464 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 4.9
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2. Sex

► Adultery, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated, or justified, or presented attractively.
People who added this item 801 Average listal rating (455 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
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► Scenes of passion should not be introduced when not essential to the plot.
People who added this item 1759 Average listal rating (1190 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
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► Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown.
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► In general passion should so be treated that these scenes do not stimulate the lower and baser element.
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► Seduction or Rape should never be more than suggested, and only when essential for the plot, and even then never shown by explicit method.
People who added this item 764 Average listal rating (463 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.6
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► White slavery shall not be treated.
People who added this item 676 Average listal rating (441 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
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► Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races) is forbidden.
People who added this item 186 Average listal rating (94 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Othello (1995)
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► Scenes of actual child birth, in fact or in silhouette, are never to be presented.
People who added this item 2806 Average listal rating (1781 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
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4. Obscenity

► Obscenity in word, gesture, reference, song, joke, or by suggestion (even when likely to be understood only by part of the audience) is forbidden,
People who added this item 2385 Average listal rating (1389 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
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5. Profanity

► Pointed profanity (this includes the words, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ - unless used reverently - Hell, S.O.B., damn, Gawd), or every other profane or vulgar expression however used, is forbidden.
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6. Costume

► Complete nudity is never permitted. This includes nudity in fact or in silhouette...
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► Undressing scenes should be avoided, and never used save where essential to the plot.
People who added this item 2199 Average listal rating (1502 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
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7. Dances

► Dances suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passions are forbidden.
People who added this item 2621 Average listal rating (1622 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
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► Dances which emphasize indecent movements are to be regarded as obscene.
People who added this item 6215 Average listal rating (4097 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
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8. Religion

► No film or episode may throw ridicule on any religious faith.
People who added this item 1724 Average listal rating (1091 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.4
Evan Almighty (2007)
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► Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villains.
People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.1
Leap of Faith (1992)
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9. Locations

► The treatment of bedrooms must be governed by good taste and delicacy.
People who added this item 4085 Average listal rating (2618 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
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10. National Feelings

► The use of the Flag shall be consistently respectful.
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► The history, institutions, prominent people and citizenry of other nations shall be represented fairly.
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11. Titles

► Salacious, indecent, or obscene titles shall not be used.
People who added this item 1970 Average listal rating (1274 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
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12. Repellent Subjects

Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishments for crime
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Third degree methods.
People who added this item 387 Average listal rating (257 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Unthinkable (2010)
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Apparent cruelty to children or animals.
People who added this item 1600 Average listal rating (950 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
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The sale of women, or a woman selling her virtue.
People who added this item 2418 Average listal rating (1577 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
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Branding of people or animals.
People who added this item 2223 Average listal rating (1376 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
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"If motion pictures present stories that will affect lives for the better, they can become the most powerful force for the improvement of mankind."




The Motion Picture Production Code or The Hays Code (due to Hollywood's chief censor of the time, Will H. Hays) was created to censor the films released by the cinema studios from 1930 to 1968.
With over the years, the code was changed... but here are some of its first General Principles...curious indeed.

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