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Ronald Colman introduces Clement C. Young, Governor of California from
1928 to 1931, in this short made for public viewing in 1928. This was
two years before the passage of the Motion Picture Production Code (not
actually enforced until 1934) in an effort to show lawmakers that the
film industry was policing itself. This film obviously didn't work,
since the Code was put into effect anyway.
The Code's stated objectives were a lot of legal-speak for "The Bad Guy must never win nor get away with anything", "No nudity or explicit sexual material", "No graphic methods of violence", and "No illegal drug use", among others.
The Code was enforced until the late 1950's when squeaky-clean Hollywood films were subject to competition from more explicit foreign films and from the convenience of television. The old Hollywood "studio system" was pretty much dead by then and the Code fell by the wayside with it.
Governor C.C. Young Hails Greater Talkie Season (1930)
** (out of 4)
Three minute short film was not only an early talkie but an early color picture as well. Actor Ronald Colman introduces California Governor Clement C. Young who stands up and speaks to the camera. The Governor tries to tell people that Hollywood can police itself to keep cinema clean and that they didn't need a Production Code. Of course, we know what would happen as Hollywood would avoid the "rules" laid down until 1934 when a P.C. was put in place. This really doesn't work too well as a short or as entertainment but it does remain interesting as a part of history. I couldn't help but wonder how much Hollywood had to pay this guy to get him in their pocket. This film certainly isn't a great piece of art but the history behind it makes it worth viewing by film buffs.
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