Oscars: Hayes / Breen Censorship files, continued

These files highlight the extraordinary reach of the code in the early days, and map social and cultural evolution as the restrictions lift later on the in the sixties.

The correspondence between censors and filmmakers was exhaustive.
Comprising mostly crinkly onionskin carbons, the documents are the copies maintained by the censors for their records. The studios would have received the original in this game of censorship vs entertainment/titillation/artistic freedom.

Scripts had to be signed off before production could begin.
The Office very specifically dissected the actions and implications of the characters.
My personal favorite is simple and to the point:
"…importantly there must be no leering on the part of Floyd or Lefty"
(what else did they think a pair named Floyd and Lefty were going to do?)

Later on, as restrictions relaxed, the process became simpler.
No longer was the censor involved at every level from conception, writing, through production and editing. Complete films could be presented and concepts judged in context.
Linda outlines swearing as a great barometer of the changing mores.
Initially out of the question, filmmakers were granted a token @#*!!.
Then 3, then 4. Arbitrary, but a historical and sociological reveal that makes these files very excellent.
In many ways the Code was an simply economic standard: the MPAA couldn't risk valuable film commodities being shunned by puritanical markets within the States, and propitious but possibly sensitive screens across Europe and the world.