Hollywood Scandals In The 1920s

1817 Words8 Pages
Hollywood’s public opinion suffered during the 1920s as a consequence of a series of scandals involving famous movie stars. Roscoe Arbuckle was accused of rape whereas Olive Thomas made a drug overdose. Moreover, the films themselves were creating further controversy. As the films did not have the right of freedom of speech under the 1st Amendment, an increasing number of motion pictures had problems with state censors. In consequence First National (the association of theatre owners which later on merged with Warner Brothers), Lasky Corporation (later to be Paramount) and Metro-Goldwyn (which will soon be MGM) created the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association (MPPDA). Will H. Hays, head of the newly formed MPPDA, most prominent role was to restore Hollywood’s image after the scandals and to lower the…show more content…
Threatening to boycott the theatres Catholics signed a pledge against the depiction of “(…) vice as a normal condition of affairs and against depicting criminals (…)”. Moreover, the New Deal created the need for the film industry to help in regaining the people’s faith in its government. The studios could not ignore those rapidly growing movements. From 1934 all pictures had to have the certificate of approval issued by the MPPDA on the basis of the 1930 Production Code. In consequence, killing the gangster and occasionally putting title boards such as the examples mentioned above were no longer sufficient to deter censors. But abandoning the gangster genre was not a viable option. Although it was not any more the sure moneymaker as the market got saturated with depictions of gangsters it was still a viable source of income for the studios. The industry found a way to further capitalise on the success of the gangster genre without breaking the Code. They turned the gangster into a law enforcement official, preferably a FBI

More about Hollywood Scandals In The 1920s

Open Document