Select Points of The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930

  • No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
  • Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
  • Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
  • Revenge in modern times shall not be justified.
  • The use of firearms should be restricted to the essentials.
  • Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown.
  • In general passion should so be treated that these scenes do not stimulate the lower and baser element.
  • White slavery shall not be treated.
  • Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races) is forbidden.
  • Pointed profanity (this includes the words, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ – unless used reverently – Hell, S.O.B., damn, Gawd), or every other profane or vulgar expression however used, is forbidden.
  • Undressing scenes should be avoided, and never used save where essential to the plot.
  • Dances suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passions are forbidden.
  • Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villains.
  • The treatment of bedrooms must be governed by good taste and delicacy.
  • The use of the Flag shall be consistently respectful.

The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 was written to be “A Code to Govern the Making of Talking, Synchronized and Silent Motion Pictures. Formulated and formally adopted by The Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc. and The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. in March 1930.” Read the full text.