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Pre-Code Hollywood

Pre-Code Hollywood refers to the brief era in the American film industry between the widespread adoption of sound in pictures in 1929 and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines, popularly known as the "Hays Code", in mid-1934. Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor and it did not become rigorously enforced until July 1, 1934, with the establishment of the Production Code Administration (PCA). Before that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws, negotiations between the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) and the major studios, and popular opinion, than by strict adherence to the Hays Code, which was often ignored by Hollywood filmmakers.


  • Origins of the Code (1915-1930) 

  • Early sound film era 

  • Hollywood during the Great Depression 

  • Social problem films 

  • Crime films 

  • Sex films 

  • Comedy 

  • Musicals 

  • Horror and science fiction 

  • Exotic adventure films 

  • Newsreels and documentaries 

  • Beginning of Code era (July 1, 1934) 

  • After the Code era – Motion Picture Association of America film rating system (MPAA) 

  • Contemporary screenings 

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