By mid-1934, Joseph Breen had finally arranged enough pressure to be put on the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) to understand that movies that were condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency could do serious financial harm to the studio apparatus. The SRC transformed into the Production Code Administration (PCA) which was then tasked with enforcing the Production Code and ensuring that future movies were morally fit for public consumption. The catch was, of course, that offensive material was still circulating. The PCA had within its power to withdraw and prevent pictures from being reissued, something that kept many pre-Codes in their respective vaults for decades.

The list below, from a memo by Breen marked February 20, 1935, lists the movies that were to be withdrawn from circulation. Essentially, as the Code came to be fully enforced, these were the worst of the worst offenders.

Class I Pictures

These movies were told to have any current contracts ended and the movies themselves were to be immediately withdrawn from circulation. Some of them would be heavily recut so they could be shown in reissues, but others remained in vaults as Breen personally refused them to be reissued. This led to many of these movies not seeing the light of day until VHS or cable television.

  • Affairs of a Gentleman
  • Melody Cruise
  • Sailor Be Good
  • Goodbye Love
  • Girl Without a Room
  • Tonight is Ours
  • So This is Africa
  • Women In His Life

Class II Pictures

Class II pictures were allowed to finish up their engagements before being withdrawn from circulation. Again, most of these sat in vaults while a few made their way to television decades down the line.

  • Gambling Ship
  • She Made Her Bed
  • Nana

A big thanks to Kim at I See A Dark Theater for helping me out by tracking down this memo!

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