Bring Back the Hays Code!

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked at as something shocking
Now heaven knows
Anything goes

Cole Porter, 1934

It started out innocently, with the indirect but shocking enough transgressions of Sex and the City -- the tea bagging and so on. It picked up steam (so to speak) with True Blood and The Tudors, and has now reached its apotheosis with Game of Thrones and Girls. I'm talking, of course, about gratuitous sex and nudity. Amused and entertained at first, I watch now and feel myself becoming a reactionary. Good god, from the vantage point of 2014, the Manhattan of Carrie and the girls looks a lot like Mayberry.

There's only one thing to be done, I think: Bring back the Hays Code, the set of moral guidelines for the movies instituted in the 1930s and enforced in varying degrees until the 60s came and the ratings system was created. I jest of course. Take a look at the code and you can see it's as useful and realistic as prohibition was. But as many have pointed out, those movies of the Golden Age featured no explicit sex but tons of witty innuendo. Who ever watched a Cary Grant movie, a Hepburn and Tracy movie, a Astaire and Rogers movie, and thought, wouldn't it be great if they took off their clothes now? No one. Not even Lena Dunham.


  1. I literally typed in, bring back the hays code" and found this article. I would like to see morality and creativity both find there way back into film making. Today we have that trashy family "the kardasians& Jenner" who'll do anything to turn a buck. There are very few good film makers today and none can create the heat and passion that many of the older films could. The hays code is the cause of the witty innuendo and great creativity the older films had. It takes no talent to flap your tits or show your ass; and that creates no intilligent give and take(pun intended). There is no talent in tits and ass no matter how good they are. All women, and some men, have tits and a ass, but few have talent. Today if they're willing to give head and look ok then they'll get a job in the movie industry. So I'll shout it, "bring back the damned hays code!!!"

  2. Hey, I just saw this! Maybe we could start a movement. Thanks for weighing in.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts