At PEPS, we repeatedly say that the work of the Production Code Administration (PCA) during the Breen Era (1934-1954) was not censorship. We say that it was self-regulation. We dedicate most of our articles to studying and explaining the influence which the PCA had during the twenty years when Joseph I. Breen was its leader. During the course of our explanations, we often use the verb to breen to describe Joe Breen’s unique process of self-regulating movies. This word was coined by Variety in the 1930s, and we have adopted it whole-heartedly.
To show our readers how the PCA improved movies by making them “reasonably acceptable for reasonable people,” we have breened existing films out of the Breen Era ourselves. We even published an article on How to Breen last year.
On June 15, 2017, I published my first Breening Thursday article. In that article, I breened Night World from 1932. I published four more articles in the series in the next two months. Since then, I have not published any further articles in the series. However, we have published other breening articles on the website as part of The Great Breening Blogathon in 2017 and The Second Annual Great Breening Blogathon this year.
Beginning in November, we are reviving the Breening Thursdays series. Starting on November 1, we will publish a new breening article written by me or another member of PEPS each Thursday. In these articles, we will breen films from the silent period (1890s-1929), the pre-Code era (1930-1934), a foreign country during the Breen Era (1934-1954), the Shurlock Era (1955-1968), or the rating system era (1968-present). We will try to publish a new article in the series every week.
In each article, we give an overview of the film’s story and mention the cast and film crew. Then, we provide a detailed description of how the film could have been changed to be Code-compliant. Like the PCA members, we try to leave the original integrity and feeling of the film intact when making our revisions. The aim of breening is not to change a film because of personal opinions. All changes must stem from offensive elements. However, the removal of such elements often leads to the deepening of plot and the development of characters.
Scroll down for a list of all the films we have breened. They have been categorized by genre. The Breening Thursday articles are in plain font. The films we breened for blogahons are emboldened. The films which were breened by other people during our blogathons are underlined. Each article entry is followed by its author’s initials. Keep checking back for our weekly additions!
Shurlock Era Films
Rating System Era Films
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