December 1947: It’s Curtains, Rocky! MPAA Bans Gangster Pictures

L.A. Times, 1947

L.A. Times, 1947

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

NEW YORK, Dec. 3. (AP)—The board of directors of the Motion Picture Association of America today voted to cease distribution of new and old pictures glorifying gangster names and criminal practices.

The association, which includes all of the nation’s leading film producers, also banned the use of salacious and obscene titles.

Eric Johnston, chairman of the board, who recommended the changes in the association’s codes, announced the film companies had agreed to drop immediately 25 titles deemed objectionable, adding that distribution of films produced with these titles will be stopped.

In some cases the banned titles were for films not yet produced.

Titles of already produced films whose further distribution is banned include:

(1945) imdb page:

“Roger Touhy, Gangster” (1944) imdb page:

“The Racket Man”
(1944) imdb page:

“This Gun for Hire”
(1942) Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. imdb page:

“The Murder Ring”
(unable to locate this cinematic gem).

“The Killers”
(1946) Burt Lancaster. imdb page:

“They Made Me a Killer”
(1946) imdb page:

“Born to Kill”
(1947) imdb page:

“Shoot to Kill”
(1947) imdb page:

“The Last Gangster”
(1937) imdb page

“Me, Gangster”
(1928) imdb page

“Gang War”
(1941) imdb page

“Ladies of the Mob”
(1928) imdb page

“The Racketeer”
(1929) imdb page

Titles not yet used for films which were stricken from the registration list included: “Al Capone,” “Killer for Hire,” “The Gangster’s Moll” and “Gangster’s Glory.”

Producers also withdrew three titles submitted for registration last month: “The Capone Story,” “How We Trapped Capone” and “Gun Moll.”
+ + +
As I recall, “Scarface” was also part of this group of banned gangster films, as it vanished from exhibition for many years.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to December 1947: It’s Curtains, Rocky! MPAA Bans Gangster Pictures

  1. JAMES says:

    But there are countless gangster films made during this period. This ban didn’t last long.


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