What shocked the censors! (1933)

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READ THIS FIRST! In reading the cuts made by the censors, it will help to bear in mind these points: 1st. You will find, besides many cuts plainly absurd or capricious, some which will seem entirely proper. Indeed you may think some of them quite desirable. But if you could compare them with the matter left in,—and therefore approved,—those cuts would seem arbitrary and unreasonable. Just recollect how many of the censored films you have seen present just the kind of stuff the New York censors have cut out. And if you could compare in parallel columns the cuts made by the censors in the six states with censorship, you would find absurdity complete. What one board favors, another bans. Whole films prohibited in one state are licensed in another. The sum total of cuts in one film made by them all, would in many cases leave almost nothing. 2nd. These censored parts of scenes and dialogues often appear worse than they really are in the films, because they are lifted out of their contexts. Even parts of the Bible and standard literature so lifted out might be made to appear obscene. 3rd. Please remember that the real evils in censorship are not these isolated scenes and bits of dialogue. The censors do not touch the major evils. They are inherent in the treatment of themes according to what the producers think the censors want—and what the Will Hays organization (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc.), dominated by fear of censorship, lays down in its code of ethics. Virtue must always be rewarded; sin and crime always punished,— even if only at the tail-end of lurid reels of vice and violence. Life must not be treated as it really is, but as bureaucratic moralists think it should be. Moral lessons must be taught,—if not in newspapers and magazines and on the stage, at least in the movies. But the producers have learned to get away with almost anything suggestive or immoral, if it only has the proper moral ending. 4th. Remember that these cuts in New York State help to determine the "movie morals" of the country. The producers work always with the censors in mind, even for distribution in states without a censorship. You can best get the significance of these cuts by Looking over the films you know and see what was done to them. Just look them up in their alphabetical order. 15