Today is July 1, the beginning of #CleanMovieMonth2020! Different months are designated to honor or celebrate different things, so here at PEPS, we chose July as the month to celebrate Code films! You might think that we do that every month, and it is true that we devote most of our articles to the study and celebration of the Code and its movies. However, #CleanMovieMonth, which we are celebrating for the third time this July, is special from what we do the rest of the year.
What makes July as #CleanMovieMonth special? During this month, we only watch movies made during the American Breen Era (1934-1954). This isn’t too difficult for us, since that is our favorite era of films. However, we have found that, ironically, the urge to watch Shurlock Era (1955-1968) films is never as strong as when we are supposed to avoid them. The opposite is true during #AMonthWithoutTheCode in August, when we avoid all Code films. Also, during #CleanMovieMonth, we only review Code films. That means that we suspend Breening Thursday articles during July, since in that series we study how un-Code films would have been different under the Code.
You might wonder why we chose July as our special month dedicated exclusively to the Code. We chose this month because it has historic significance. On July 15 of 1934, the Production Code Administration was officially formed under Joseph I. Breen. This was the beginning of the twenty-year period in which Hollywood would make clean movies because the Code was properly enforced. The idea of the Code was first suggested by Martin J. Quigley five years earlier in Chicago, in July of 1929. Thus, since July is such a significant month for clean movies, we dedicate it to the study of Code films and how they are different from movies made in other eras.
We celebrated #CleanMovieMonth for the first time two years ago in July of 2018. For this event, I published an article about a different Code film every day in the month. That August, we celebrated #AMonthWithoutTheCode for the first time. For that event, I published an in-depth article about Geoffrey Shurlock, the second leader of the PCA, on his birthday; I also reviewed the pre-Code Rasputin and the Empress from 1932. We reprised both these events in 2019, renaming them in honor of special anniversaries that year. In #CleanMovieMonth85, in honor of the 85th anniversary of the PCA’s formation, I reviewed a different perfect Code film every day during July. In #AMonthWithoutTheCode65, in honor (or dishonor) of the 65th anniversary of the end of the Breen Era, I breened a movie from each of the five eras of un-Code films.
This year, we are calling our month-long July celebration #CleanMovieMonth2020. Since there is no special anniversary this year, we are just naming the event after the year in which it is being held. Because this is 2020, the theme of this year’s celebration is the number 20! During July, we are going to publish twenty reviews of Code films. Some of them will be 100 New Code Films articles. The rest will be reviews of movies which I have seen before but have never reviewed on PEPS. I will also be publishing Code Concepts articles on Thursdays instead of Breening Thursday articles.
Please join us in our study of Code films by participating in #CleanMovieMonth2020! Click here to see the original announcement and learn how you can participate.
Be sure to come back July 14-17 for the highlight of the celebration, the annual July blogathon in honor of the PCA’s anniversary. This year, we are celebrating Code film versions of classic literature with the Code Classics Blogathon. Please join!
In the meantime, scroll down to see the participating articles in this series from PEPS and other authors.
“Take 3: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) Review (Clean Movie Month #1)” by Sally Silverscreen – Original Post
“Take 3: The Wife of Monte Cristo Review (Clean Movie Month #2)” by Sally Silverscreen – Original Post
“Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2020) on… Lost In A Harem (1944)” by Neil “The Musical Man” Powell – Original Post
“TFTMM 2020 & WOIANRA 2019 on… Here Come The Co-Eds (1945)” by Neil “The Musical Man” Powell – Original Post
“Take 3: Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) Review (Clean Movie Month #3)” by Sally Silverscreen – Original Post
“Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2020) on… Remember The Night (1940) ” by Neil “The Musical Man” Powell – Original Post
“TFTMM 2020 & WOIANRA 2019 on… The Naughty Nineties (1945)” by Neil “The Musical Man” Powell – Original Post
“Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2020) on… Abbott And Costello In Hollywood (1945)” by Neil “The Musical Man” Powell – Original Post
“What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Strike Up The Band (1940)” by Neil “The Musical Man” Powell – Original Post
Follow us to bring back the Code and save the arts in America!