Academy Film Scholar to Examine Hollywood’s Censor

Thomas Doherty, Film ScholarAcademy Film Scholar to Examine Hollywood’s Censor

Beverly Hills, CA(RUSHPRNEWS) March 5, 2008 — One censor’s influence over two decades of Hollywood filmmaking will be explored by Academy Film Scholar Thomas Doherty in a program featuring highlights from his newly released book Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen & The Production Code Administration on Monday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission is free.

Hollywood’s Censor tells the little-known story of Joseph I. Breen, one of the most powerful men in motion picture industry history. Breen reigned over the Production Code Administration, the Hollywood office tasked with censoring the American screen, from 1934 to 1954. He dictated “final cut” over thousands of movies – more than any other individual in American cinema, before or since. His editorial decisions had a profound effect on the images and values projected by Hollywood during the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War.

Striving to protect “innocent souls” from the temptations of the motion picture screen, there were few elements of cinematic production beyond Breen’s reach. Breen vetted story lines, blue-penciled dialogue and excised footage (a process that came to be known as “Breening”) to fit within his strict moral framework. He oversaw the editing of A-list feature films, low-budget B-movies, short subjects, previews of coming attractions, and even cartoons.

The Academy’s Institutional Grants Committee selected Doherty as an Academy Film Scholar in 2003. Doherty has previously authored Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture; Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930–1934; Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II; and Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s. He is a professor of American studies at Brandeis University, and serves on the editorial board of Cineaste.
Established in 1999, the Academy Film Scholars program is designed to stimulate and support the creation of new and significant works of film scholarship about aesthetic, cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures. Film scholars receive $25,000 to research and produce such works, which can take the form of books, multimedia presentations, curatorial projects, DVDs or Internet sites.
For grant guidelines and information about the Academy Film Scholars program, visit www.oscars.org/grants/filmscholars.

Admission to the Academy Film Scholars presentation is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available by mail, at the Academy box office, or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
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CONTACT: Teni Melidonian – (310) 247-3090
tmelidonian@oscars.org

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