Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association, Purity Code, 1927

Resolved, that those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:

1. Pointed profanity—by either title or lip—this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell,” “damn,” “Gawd,” and every other profane and vulgar expression, however it may be spelled.

2. Any licentious or suggestive nudity—in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture.

3. The illegal traffic of drugs.

4. Any inference or sex perversion.

5. White slavery.

6. Miscegenation (sex relationships between white and black races).

7. Sex hygiene or venereal diseases.

8. Scenes of actual childbirth—in fact or in silhouette.

9. Children’s sex organs.

10. Ridicule of clergy.

11. Willful offense to any nation, race or creed.

And it will be further resolved that special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated, to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste be emphasized:

1. The use of the flag.

2. International relations (avoiding picturization in an unfavorable light another country’s religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry).

3. Arson.

4. The use of firearms.

5. Theft, robbery, safecracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect which a too-detailed description of these may have upon a moron).

6. Brutality and possible gruesomeness.

7. Technique of committing murder by whatever method.

8. Methods of smuggling.

9. Third-degree methods.

10. Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime.

11. Sympathy for criminals.

12. Attitude toward public characters and institutions.

13. Sedition.

14. Apparent cruelty to children and animals.

15. Branding of people or animals.

16. The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue.

17. Rape or attempted.

18. First-night scenes.

19. Man and woman in bed together.

20. Deliberate seduction of girls.

21. The institution of marriage.

22. Surgical operations.

23. The use of drugs.

24. Titles or scenes having to do with the law enforcement or law-enforcing officers,

25. Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a “heavy.”

Source: Miller, F. (1994). Censored Hollywood: Sex, sin & violence on screen. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing.

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