This is a year of special anniversaries, since it has been ninety years since Martin Quigley's idea presentation of the Code and eighty-five years since the formation of the PCA. We are especially celebrating the eighty-fifth anniversary of the PCA's formation, since it marked the beginning of the twenty-year period of film decency which we call the Breen Era. Although it has not been eighty-five years of solid decency, due to the deterioration of the Code during the Shurlock Era (1955-1968), the years of Code-enforcement are still something about which to rejoice. In honor of this anniversary, we are calling this July #CleanMovieMonth85.
To join this celebration, watch only American films released between July 15, 1934, and October 14, 1954. This is the greater Breen era, and it is the era of the Code's best enforcement. It can be hard to determine the cut-off line in 1954, so any movie from 1954 is acceptable. Pre-Code films from 1934 are easily distinguished by the lack of an MPPDA Certificate No. in the credits. The first Code film was The World Moves On. The purpose of this is to really study these movies, how they are related to the Code, and how they differ from movies from other times. If you have a blog, you can write articles during the month to document your thoughts on and reactions to the movies you are watching, linking back to this post and using the banner at the top of this article. Use the hashtag #CleanMovieMonth85 to share your thoughts on the films you are watching on social media. You can have a weekly roundup to discuss your reactions to the experiment, or you can wait until the end of the month and write one article about your findings. Long live pure entertainment!