Author: Katie Colwell

SCARFACE: The Effects of its Censorship

Introduction Scarface is a gangster film based on the life of Al Capone, a notorious gangster in Chicago during the prohibition era.[1] United Artists followed the public’s love for gangster films and produced one of the “most iconic gangster films ever made.”[2] The film was produced in the Pre-Code Era of Hollywood, an era where the Production Code and censorship were beginning to be established but before the code was completely enforced. Scarface had to undergo the compulsory submissions and discussions with the Hay’s Office Studio Relations Committee (SRC) in order to be allowed for theatrical release. Getting the SRC to okay the film was difficult, and then getting state censor boards to agree to present the film in theaters also proved challenging. There was much backlash against the release of Scarface by censor boards which inadvertently led to the public’s demand to see it and overall massive popularity of the film. In this essay I will first be discussing the history of the Production Code and how that and  censorship boards affected Scarface through …

Katie Colwell is a rising senior and a Cinema Studies major with a specialization in filmmaking.