Today is the first day of our first blogathon of 2019, The Favorite Code Film Blogathon. This blogathon is our primary celebration of the 85th anniversary of the formation of the Production Code Administration (PCA) in July of 1934, which was the beginning of the Breen Era. It is the climax of our month-long celebration of Code films, #CleanMovieMonth85. During this month, we are watching nothing but Code films; I am replacing my regular weekly Breening Thursday articles with features in our new Code Concepts series; and I am publishing daily bit-sized reviews of great Breen Era movies, Perfect Code Film Features.
Although the Motion Picture Production Code was officially adopted by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) on March 31, 1930, it was ineffectively enforced by the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) for the next four years. With no power to insist upon reviewing scripts, the four SRC members could do little more than suggest changes and recommend cuts. With the new agreement of June 13, 1934, things were very different. Filming could not begin on any picture until the PCA had approved the script. All costumes were reviewed before filming started. When a film was finished, it couldn’t be released without the PCA’s Seal of Approval. Under Joseph I. Breen’s brilliant leadership, the organization of eight frequently-changing members plus secretaries enforced the Code brilliantly. This is the period we call the Breen Era, and it is the time during which the films reviewed in this blogathon were made.
Participants in this blogathon are writing about their favorite movies from the American Breen Era. Any Code film is eligible, and each participant can only write about one movie! Our writers are encouraged to explain why they like these movies, with a particular emphasis on the Code. We are very excited to read about our fellow writers’ favorite Code movies and why they like them! We hope that this blogathon will reveal a lot of unique insight on Breen Era films and help us all appreciate this wonderful time of filmmaking even more!
The Roster So Far
Jenni from Rollamo of Portraits by Jenni
Sally Silverscreen of 18 Cinema Lane
Rebecca Deniston of Taking Up Room
Tiffany Brannan of PEPS
Jenni tells us about this exciting Western tale of revenge and mistaken intentions, explaining that she likes Westerns because they show good vs. evil.
By the way, please join our month-long celebration of Code films, #CleanMovieMonth85! Throughout July, we are going to watch nothing but American Breen Era films, and we are inviting participants to do the same. Writers can join this celebration with articles about their own favorite films and discoveries during the month, and we will republish them on our website. Here’s to 85 years since the formation of the Production Code Administration!
As a special high-point of our month-long celebration in July, we are hosting a blogathon on the first weekend in July in honor of the formation of the PCA and the twenty wonderful years of decent cinema which followed during Joseph Breen’s tenure. It will be called The Favorite Code Film Blogathon. On July 5-7, participants will choose their single favorite Code films and write about why these movies from the era of film decency were so good. Please join!
Follow us to bring back the Code and save the arts in America!