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Re censorship: Could someone please explain?

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On the topic of censorship, we've discussed what Hitchcock had to do in 1959 to get a relatively tame line from the movie 'North by Northwest... "I never make love on an empty stomach"... past the censor board, and compared that to what Hitch was able to get away with in filming a bedroom scene in 1960's 'Psycho'.

 

With that in mind, I wonder about something I saw last night in the 1954 musical, 'Guys and Dolls'... a film based on the Broadway musical.  The name of the burlesque dance hall was The Hot Box Club.  Relating the term 'hot box' to burlesque girls, only one meaning immediately comes to my filthy mind... and I cannot imagine how it could not be censored back in the '50's.  Perhaps it was because the club name had already been used in the stage show, or the term had a cleaner meaning back in the '50's, one I'm not aware of, or maybe because it did not refer to a specific intimate act between characters.  Could someone shed some light on this? 

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On the topic of censorship, we've discussed what Hitchcock had to do in 1959 to get a relatively tame line from the movie 'North by Northwest... "I never make love on an empty stomach"... past the censor board, and compared that to what Hitch was able to get away with in filming a bedroom scene in 1960's 'Psycho'.

 

With that in mind, I wonder about something I saw last night in the 1954 musical, 'Guys and Dolls'... a film based on the Broadway musical.  The name of the burlesque dance hall was The Hot Box Club.  Relating the term 'hot box' to burlesque girls, only one meaning immediately comes to my filthy mind... and I cannot imagine how it could not be censored back in the '50's.  Perhaps it was because the club name had already been used in the stage show, or the term had a cleaner meaning back in the '50's, one I'm not aware of, or maybe because it did not refer to a specific intimate act between characters.  Could someone shed some light on this? 

The meaning of terms changes.  One of first Falcon movies was The Gay Falcon and no way was Gay Lawrence "gay" as now used.

Nor were the Gay 90's about homosexuality.

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Here's are two "25 words or less" descriptions of the rise and fall of the Production Code in Hollywood, which should give you some insight into censorship of Hollywood films.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Production_Code

 

In one way, the Production Code was a response to maintaining the commercial interests of Hollywood films. In many areas of the country, local censorship boards, usually church-based in nature, would cut up or even refuse to show films with "objectionable" content. (See the Production Code list of "Do's and Don'ts".)

 

Another powerful group behind this was the Catholic (later National) League of Decency, representing the interests of the Roman Catholic Church in regards to Hollywood films.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Legion_of_Decency

 

These are the "encyclopedia" entries of censorship in Hollywood. A number of books have been written on the subject, and can be found in the bibliographies of the two entries.

Personally, I kind of prefer films made under the Production Code. Nowadays, just about anything goes in films. The Code required filmmakers to be creative and inventive in finding ways around it. Hitchcock did it with the kissing scene in Notorious. The Code required that Cary and Ingrid kiss for no longer than three seconds. So they continued to kiss multiple times with a break every three seconds for some dialogue.

 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in one of their films took a cigarette break after a particularly romantic dance scene. In other words, "was it good for you too?" ;)

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Here's are two "25 words or less" descriptions of the rise and fall of the Production Code in Hollywood, which should give you some insight into censorship of Hollywood films.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Production_Code

 

In one way, the Production Code was a response to maintaining the commercial interests of Hollywood films. In many areas of the country, local censorship boards, usually church-based in nature, would cut up or even refuse to show films with "objectionable" content. (See the Production Code list of "Do's and Don'ts".)

 

Another powerful group behind this was the Catholic (later National) League of Decency, representing the interests of the Roman Catholic Church in regards to Hollywood films.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Legion_of_Decency

 

These are the "encyclopedia" entries of censorship in Hollywood. A number of books have been written on the subject, and can be found in the bibliographies of the two entries.

 

Personally, I kind of prefer films made under the Production Code. Nowadays, just about anything goes in films. The Code required filmmakers to be creative and inventive in finding ways around it. Hitchcock did it with the kissing scene in Notorious. The Code required that Cary and Ingrid kiss for no longer than three seconds. So they continued to kiss multiple times with a break every three seconds for some dialogue.

 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in one of their films took a cigarette break after a particularly romantic dance scene. In other words, "was it good for you too?" ;)

Very informative, but the OP's question was in regard to why The Hot Box term was not censored.  As I explained, at the time the expression was not the euphemism that it is today.  The term met the Code standards.

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Very informative, but the OP's question was in regard to why The Hot Box term was not censored.  As I explained, at the time the expression was not the euphemism that it is today.  The term met the Code standards.

 

As far as I could find Hot Box has never been commonly used (today or yesterday),  as a reference to a women's body part (as assumed by the OP).   But hey, I have lived a sheltered life.    :lol:

 

Anyhow,  naming a nightclub the Hot Box makes sense but I assume 'hot' just means 'happening' and 'box' is a place.     Therefore naming a club Hot Box is marketing for;    a happening place to be at.

 

Of course maybe naming the club Hot Box was a reference to baseball like naming a club The Dugout (very common but typically only for clubs and restaurants close to a ballpark).   

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Ah, the power of double entendre to mollify the censors!  When a base runner in baseball is caught between bases by two inflelders who keep tossing the ball and shortening the distance to the runner until he can be tagged out, that runner is caught  in "the hot box" .  Since the moviemaker could claim there was a perfectly innocent and generally understood use of the term without sexual suggestiveness, if he kept a straight face and an earnest manner, the censor would often be forced to let it slide and save his fight for scenes or dialogue  that indisputably crossed the line.

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Hard to believe but the term Hot Box originally was used by the railroad industry to describe a problem with overheating bearings. Wikipedia defines it as :"A hot box is the term used when an axle bearing overheats on a piece of railway rolling stock.[1] The term is derived from the journal-bearing trucks used before the mid-20th century. The axle bearings were housed in a box that used oil-soaked rags or cotton (collectively called "packing") to reduce the friction of the axle against the truck frame. When the oil leaked or dried out, the bearings overheated, often starting a fire that could destroy the entire railroad car (and cars coupled to it) if not detected early enough"

Interesting choice for a club's name?

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