“Nothing serious in the way of a production code [to administer morals] was composed until 1930. The Hays Code prohibited profanity, licentious or suggestive nudity, sexual perversions, and rape. For more than twenty years, even married couples in the movies slept in separate beds.”
The New Yorker, “Sex and Sexier”


A priest should remain on screen at all times.

When an unmarried woman is informed about “wifely duties,” there must immediately follow an extended scene of the woman vomiting.

Bathrooms are to be referred to as “the dirty room.”

Small mammals such as hamsters or guinea pigs should never be held in a suggestive fashion.

Ice cream parlors are acceptable, but no character should be depicted as enjoying a sundae that could be described as “ostentatious.”

Once in every film, a character should say “Gee, the Hayes Code is terrific.”

Beards should only be hinted at.

French people are not acceptable under any circumstances.

It is permissible that an unmarried couple are shown in the same room, but they must be separated at all times by a large wardrobe or armoire.

“Geoffrey” must always be spelled “Jeffery.”

Homosexuals should be depicted as constantly on fire.

Dogs must have all four paws on the floor at all times.

Trees should never be shown without all their leaves.

Bras are to be referred to as “Personal Lady Upholstery.”

Any suggestion that the Earth is round should be immediately qualified by a statement that it could also be flat.

Trains must not be shown entering a tunnel. You’re not fooling anyone.

Animals should, under no circumstance, be shown talking quietly to each other as if plotting something.

Christmas trees are acceptable, only if not depicted in suggestive manner.

Close-ups of a woman's hand are only permissible if it is partially gloved.

Flatulence is acceptable in limited cases, but only if the perpetrator is seen in a later scene begging forgiveness in a church or chapel.

Explicit shots of men or women openly masticating are strictly forbidden.

Beds should be no more than two feet wide.

Tidy haircuts are to be encouraged at all times.

A married couple may hold each other’s hand on screen if separated by a large dog or small horse.

References to “hip-hop” are forbidden until it is invented in the 1970s.

No depiction of rhinoceroses, kangaroos, or any other mythical animals.

Any man who shakes the hand of an unmarried woman must, in the following scene, vigorously wash and scrub his hands.

“Piles” must be referred to as “hemorrhoids.”

Hemorrhoids are not to be mentioned.

A little side boob is fine.


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