TITLE

Censorship, Film Noir, and Double Indemnity

AUTHOR(S)
Biesen, Sheri Chinen
PUB. DATE
February 1995
SOURCE
Film & History (03603695);Feb-May1995, Vol. 25 Issue 1/2, p40
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article reports that the motion picture industry trade publications and archival records indicate that "Double Indemnity" was a pivotal film in the evolution of Production Code Administration (PCA) censorship and wartime production restrictions providing the necessary conditions for the dark style and paranoid thematics of film noir. As Fred Stanley noted in 1944, this renewed interest in certain types of storied sordidness and ultra-sophistication in response to "Double Indemnity" has not prompted any easing of Hays office or State censorship regulations. There have been none and none is expected. It is just that Hollywood is learning to use finesse in dealing with a variety of different plot situations which, if treated obviously, would be unsuitable. Indeed, "Double Indemnity" was both influenced by the Production Code, and influenced how the Code was applied (or not applied) to later films. In a sense it opened the censorial floodgates for a darker cinema. This gradual easing of the Code to accommodate what industry censor Joseph Breen termed "low tone and sordid flavor" would enable an abundant proliferation of films noir to be produced in Hollywood with the Code's Seal of approval.
ACCESSION #
24448390

 

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