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Joseph Breen
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (October 14, 1890-December 5, 1965)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Former newspaper reporter
    Head of the Production Code Administration (1934-54)
    Enforced the censorship guidelines developed by Will Hays' Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association
    He lied about graduating college.
    He felt he had been called by God to head the PCA.
    He wrote that Hollywood was 'a rotten bunch of vile people with no respect for anything beyond the making of money.... Ninety-five percent of these folks are Jews of an Eastern European lineage. They are, probably, the scum of the earth.'
    Prior to the outbreak of WWII, he discouraged Hollywood studios from making films critical of Nazi Germany.
    He was married to his high school sweetheart, Mary Dervin, for 51 years.
    He loosened censorship standards after WWII.
    Elia Kazan, pleasantly surprised at how much of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' made it to the screen intact, called him 'a hell of an understanding, decent guy.'
    When asked to testify about Communists in the film industry, he declined, saying he had not paid attention to anyone's politics.
    On his retirement, he received an honorary Academy Award for 'his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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