(Dis)Agreements: Censorship and the configuration of cinematic classicism

Pablo Hernández Miñano, Violeta Martín Núñez, Carmen Guiralt Gomar, Lea Jacobs, Janet Staiger, Lee Grieveson, Nora Gilbert, Eric Schaefer, Richard Maltby

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Practically from its origins, and especially once it had been consolidated as a spectacle for mass consumption, American cinema had to deal with censorship by different authorities at local, state and federal levels. The industry responded to the problems arising from such censorship by introducing self-regulation, expressed in the Motion Picture Production Code, popularly known as the Hays Code. In addition to their influence on the subjects chosen and how these were treated, these mechanisms of censorship and self-regulation had a highly significant influence on the filmic form. What role did censorship play in the transition from the cinema of attractions to a more narrative model? Was it a determining factor in the establishment of the Institutional Mode of Representation? How did the Production Code interact with other systems and formulas associated with classical cinema, such as the star system or the different film genres? How did the progressive relaxation and subsequent abandonment of the Code affect the mise-en-scène of films? How did classical cinema handle problematic elements related to filmic form resulting from the restrictions of the Code? In this section, six internationally renowned scholars address these questions and offer their views on the subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-153
Number of pages26
JournalL'Atalante: Revista de Estudios Cinematograficos
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • classic films
  • Hollywood
  • censorship
  • auto-regulation


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