Date of Award


First Advisor

Larry Burke

Second Advisor

Joan DelPlato


This thesis briefly gives the history of the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. It outlines the development process of the document, also referred to as the Hays Code, as well as the pressures that led to its creation. It discusses the legislation passed that made the Code necessary as a protective measure for Hollywood, and how the ratings system used today was developed as the Code was abandoned. This thesis also discusses three films as they were or would have been censored through the document. Scarface (1932), Rear Window (1954), and A Clockwork Orange (1971) are included as representatives of pre- Code, Code era, and post-Code films. Through comparative analysis, this thesis discusses the evolution of the presentations of “immoral” themes, such as sex, violence, and nudity.

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