Since November, I have been writing weekly Breening Thursday articles. Every Thursday, with only a few exceptions for holidays and illness, either I or another member of my family writes about a film made outside the Breen Era (1934-1954). We “breen” these films, which means that we list all the objectionable qualities which would have been changed or eliminated by the Production Code Administration if the movie had been made during Joseph I. Breen’s period of Code-enforcement. Thus, we show our readers how movies from the Golden Era of Hollywood were made better by the Code and how movies from other periods would have been even better if they had been self-regulated.
In the new year, I want to have a weekly feature exclusively about Code films. That way, our readers will have a clear contrast to the films we breen every week. Like many classic film fans, I often am struck by the huge amount of wonderful movies I haven’t seen yet. There are so many movies from the Breen Era with favorite actors that I haven’t seen yet. With over 17,000 Seals of Approval having been issued by the PCA during Joe Breen’s tenure, it would be almost impossible to see all of them in one’s lifetime. However, one can try to make an effort to frequently find new classics, which might become new favorites.
To expand my horizons in terms of Code films, I am challenging myself this new year. Every week, I will watch a Code film which I have never seen before. Then, some time during that week, I will write an article about it. That way, I will watch and review 52 previously unseen Breen Era films during this new year. I invite my readers to join me in this challenge!
If you want to join “52 Code Films,” just post this banner on your website, link to this article, and start watching and reviewing! If you aren’t able to join this first week of January, that’s fine. You can join any time during the year! If you are unable to commit to the challenge for the whole year, you could try it for just a month or two. You could commit to the watching without writing a whole article about each film you see. You could just publish an overview of all the films you watched each month. No matter how you decide to join, carefully observe the dates of the new films you see. Only American-made films from the Greater Breen Era (1934-1954) qualify. Be wary of films from 1934. Only those released in or after July were approved by the PCA. Those which were released before July are considered pre-Code films, so they don’t count. After all, the point of the challenge is to discover new Code films, so the dates are important.
I will be publishing my first article in the series some time between now and Sunday, January 6. It must definitely be published before Monday, January 7. I will include a brief review, a cast list, notes on recommendation, and Code classification. In the mean time, be sure to come back on Thursday to read our first Breening Thursday article of the new year!
I thank my readers for their support of this new endeavor and all our other endeavors here at PEPS. If you are interested in writing about your feelings and thoughts on the Code, you can learn more about our monthly series of guest articles, What the Code Means to Me. We still need writers to sign up for January, February, and March, so please leave us a comment if you are interested.
By the way, we appreciate your financial support through our Amazon Associates program. Any time you make a purchase on Amazon after following a link from our website, you are donating to our cause while buying something for yourself or a loved one, since we get a percentage of every purchase. If you love classic films and appreciate our articles, you can expand your film library while supporting us!
Amazon Video is a great place to find a lot of wonderful, obscure Code films for free! Click the above image to start your free one-month trial and support PEPS!
Happy New Years to all our readers! May 2019 be full of many wonderful things for you, especially the wholesome, decent entertainment of the Golden Era of Hollywood!
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