"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What the Code Means to Me ~ Thoughts On Why I Appreciate It

Hello, film lovers!

Back in November, I was tagged for the Liebster Award by Tiffany Brannan, who is one of the writers at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society (PEPS). Along with the tag, she invited me to participate in her series What the Code Means to Me. I agreed and chose May for my month, and here we are! For more information on the series, click HERE.

The Code that we are talking about is the Motion Picture Production Code that was in place from 1934-1954 with Joseph Breen in charge. The Code regulated those movies to make sure that there was nothing that offended anyone.

What the Code Means to Me:
I love watching movies, that's why I blog! And I've always loved to. At first I was only interested in musicals or animated movies. I couldn't care less about the storyline.

For as long as I can remember I've been watching PG-13 movies. My mom always said that we (my sisters and I) could watch anything, as long as she had seen it. Most PG-13 movies are rated that way for crude humor, which we were too little to understand (which is a very good thing), or action, which we didn't really mind.

In spite of that (or because of that, I don't know) I am really sensitive to certain things. That is actually the reason that I review movies, I am very picky and I want other people who are picky like me to have some recommendations for good movies.

Now, I'm not saying that every movie should be carefree, not have any bad things, and everyone lives happily ever after. There would be nothing to write about. When I was little I thought movies would be better that way, but now I prefer dramas over comedies or musicals! I'm completely fine with bad things in movies as long as there are consequences for the people. It also irritates me when there is something there that isn't needed, that the storyline was perfectly wonderful without, but the film makers were too lazy. My family always say "Look past it!" but it is hard with all of those distractions.

Last July, I learned about the Code through PEPS. Thinking about it, my favorite movie of all time, Singin' in the Rain (1952) was made in the Code era!
That movie is so wonderful, I truly think that everyone should see it at some point. It is because of the Code that there is nothing wrong with it. Also, my third favorite movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) was made in the Code era, too!

I enjoy the Code because I can watch a decent movie of whatever genre that I'm in the mood for: a musical (The Wizard of Oz [1939]), a Disney animated film (Cinderella [1950]), a drama (Casablanca [1942]), or a comedy (Bringing Up Baby [1938]).

Whenever someone recommends a movie to me, I look at the year it was made and when it is between 1934-1954 I want to watch it ASAP because I know that it will be good. I recently watched The Philadelphia Story (1941) and I was worried about what it might have in there. I shouldn't have been, it was perfectly okay! Why? Because it is a Code film!

I like movies from other years too, some newer movies are some of my favorites, but I now know that because so much care was put into making Code films, they are going to be enjoyable.

For Code movie recommendations check out the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society website.

What do you think of Code movies? Do you have a favorite? Thanks for reading!



  1. Singing in the Rain is one of my favorites! I kept hearing so much awesome stuff about it but didn't get around to watching it until about a year ago.

    1. Yay, I'm so glad that you finally got to see it! I only saw it four years ago, but no movie since has topped it on my favorites list. :)

  2. I think the best thing about the Code was how creative it forced filmmakers and storytellers to be. When you can show anything, there's not a lot of need to be creative. Why did Shakespeare write sonnets? Not because there was no other kind of poetry to write. Possibly because the strict structure of the sonnet form forced him to be really creative with his words, phrasing, and rhymes. Same for many Code filmmakers -- especially film noir from the '40s. They had to creatively find ways to get their audience to understand a villain's depravity or a woman's determination to remain pure, etc, because they couldn't just show anything at all. I think that's a big part of why so many films from that era are down-right spectacular.

    1. Hamlette, exactly! I absolutely love how you phrased this! Totally awesome how you connected this to Shakespeare. :-D The sonnets have such an interesting structure, he wrote so many good ones, but I'm sure that I never could. So many movies you feel like you've already watched them because the writers are bored, and just keep putting the same elements in. Code movies have a bunch fun surprises. And most of all the film noir! I've only seen a few, but I'm always interested in more!

  3. Hmmm I haven't heard of the Code before. Very interesting!


    1. Rakayle, I only heard of it last July, but I love learning more about it!

  4. I just saw that you published this article. It's wonderful! What a great summation of the influence which the Code had on movies. You summed it up so beautifully in a very concise article! I republished it on my website here: https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/what-the-code-means-to-me-may-what-the-code-means-to-me-thoughts-on-why-i-appreciate-it-by-movie-critic/.

    Thank you so much for participating! I really appreciate it. Every participant in this series gets to choose an upcoming topic for one of my Breening Thursday articles. Please make two suggestions, and I will choose one. There are instructions on which films are eligible for suggestions here: https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/suggestions-for-future-breening-thursday-topics/.

    Thank you again! I will publish my first article for the Jimmy Stewart blogathon today.

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan

    1. Hey, Tiffany!

      Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in your series! I enjoyed it.

      I have just learned that because my computer is so old that my comments never appear on any Wordpress sites! This is very frustrating and I hope that it will be fixed when I eventually get a new computer. I'm sorry that you had to dig around to find this article! The movies that I would like to see you breen are: Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), or South Pacific (1958).

      Thank you again!


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