Will Hays Signed Letter to Jesse Lasky. During the '30s and '40s, Will H. Hays, though not a movie producer, director, nor studio executive, was one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. Hays, an ex-attorney and former chair for the Republican National Committee, became the leader of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc., an organization created by Hollywood studio-heads to raise the moral standards of feature films. The moguls established the MPPDA in response to a series of scandals and increasing pressure from certain factions. Under Hays, this organization affected the stringent Motion Picture Production Code that set forth a number of moral standards that Hollywood films had to adhere to. Those that passed muster were given a special seal. Those that failed were either hastily re-edited or faced a lack of distributing outlets. The "Hays Code" had a profound effect on U.S. filmmaking and remained in effect until 1966. Here is a signed letter from Hays, dated November 15, 1926, to producer Jesse Lasky noting requested cuts to "The Great Gatsby," including: "Eliminate sub-title 'There are things between Daisy and me which you will never know...Things neither of us can ever forget.' (These sub-titles are suggestive of connubial relations.)" With COA from PSA/DNA.

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