Talmudists used a 1964 ‘Holocaust’ movie to break the 31-year decency code banning sex scenes and nudity

From: History of Censorship in The U.S.A.

The Pawnbroker and the end of the Code

In 1964 The Pawnbroker, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Rod Steiger, was initially rejected because of two scenes in which the actresses Linda Geiser and Thelma Oliver fully expose their breasts; and a sex scene between Oliver and Jaime Sánchez, which it described as “unacceptably sex suggestive and lustful.” Despite the rejection, the film’s producers arranged for Allied Artists to release the film without the Production Code seal and the New York censors licensed The Pawnbroker without the cuts demanded by Code administrators. The producers also appealed the rejection to the Motion Picture Association of America.[6]

On a 6-3 vote, the MPAA granted the film an “exception” conditional on “reduction in the length of the scenes which the Production Code Administration found unapprovable.” The exception to the code was granted as a “special and unique case,” and was described by The New York Times at the time as “an unprecedented move that will not, however, set a precedent.”[7] The requested reductions of nudity were minimal, and the outcome was viewed in the media as a victory for the film’s producers.[6] The Pawnbroker was the first film featuring bare breasts to receive Production Code approval. In his 2008 study of films during that era, Pictures at a Revolution, author Mark Harris wrote that the MPAA’s action was “the first of a series of injuries to the Production Code that would prove fatal within three years.” [7] …

Enforcement had become impossible, and the Production Code was abandoned entirely.


References

6. Leff, Leonard J. (1996). “Hollywood and the Holocaust: Remembering The Pawnbroker” (PDF). American Jewish History 84 (4): 353–376. doi:10.1353/ajh.1996.0045. http://www.cmcdannell.com/HollywoodHolocaustReading.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-09.

7. Harris, Mark (2008). Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. Penguin Group. pp. 173–176. ISBN 978-1594201523. http://books.google.com/?id=_T9tCvzIFrcC&pg=PA174&dq=The+Pawnbroker+steiger.

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