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- DescriptionFrom 1934 to 1954 Joseph I. Breen, a media-savvy Victorian Irishman, reigned over the Production Code Administration, the Hollywood office tasked with censoring the American screen. Though little kwn outside the ranks of the studio system, this former journalist and public relations agent was one of the most powerful men in the motion picture industry. As enforcer of the puritanical Production Code, Breen dictated final cut over more movies than anyone in the history of American cinema. His editorial decisions profoundly influenced the images and values projected by Hollywood during the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. Cultural historian Thomas Doherty tells the absorbing story of Breen's ascent to power and the widespread effects of his reign. Breen vetted story lines, blue-penciled dialogue, and excised footage (a process that came to be kwn as Breening ) to fit the demands of his strict moral framework. Empowered by industry insiders and millions of like-minded Catholics who supported his missionary zeal, Breen strove to protect incent souls from the temptations beckoning from the motion picture screen. There were few elements of cinematic production beyond Breen's reach--he oversaw the editing of A-list feature films, low-budget B movies, short subjects, previews of coming attractions, and even cartoons. Populated by a colorful cast of characters, including Catholic priests, Jewish moguls, visionary auteurs, hardsed journalists, and bluese agitators, Doherty's insightful, behind-the-scenes portrait brings a tumultuous era--and an individual both feared and admired--to vivid life.
- Author BiographyThomas Doherty is professor of American studies at Brandeis University. He serves on the editorial board of Cineaste and is the author of 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.
- Author(s)Thomas Doherty
- PublisherColumbia University Press
- Date of Publication10/10/2007
- SubjectBiography: The Arts
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintColumbia University Press
- Content Note60 illus.
- Weight363 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine33 mm
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