The books in this section focus on the history of censorship in the film industry with some specifics about Western films.
Film Censorship in America
Gerald Gardner. "Westerns." In The Censorship Papers: Movie Censorship Letters from the Hays Office 1934 to 1968. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc., 1987.
From Publishers Weekly: Writer-producer of the TV special American Censored, Gardner here presents letters by arbiters in the Hollywood Hayes Office about their censorship of films from 1934 through 1968. The board was set up in response to "morality" complaints by religious leaders as well as certain segments of the public, and movie moguls were quick to comply with rules that would earn the Seal of Approval, for without the imprimatur, a film was boycotted. Such epics as Rebecca, A Streetcar Named Desire and Rear Window were revised by direction of the Hayes Office. American movies were also altered to comply with standards in countries where they were imported. The author sheds light on conditions obtaining before the present rating system was adopted, but even readers strongly opposed to censorship may yearn for what Gardner recalls as the "screen in a gentler time," compared with "today's scenes of fornication, adultery, incest, rape, cannibalism, necrophilia," etc.
Jeremy Geltzer. Film Censorship in America: A State-by-State History. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2017.
From Amazon: Since the first films played in nickelodeons, controversial movies have been cut or banned across the United States. Far from Hollywood, regional productions such as Oscar Micheaux’s provocative race films and Nell Shipman’s wildlife adventures were censored by men like Major M.L.C. Funkhouser, the terror of Chicago’s cinemas, and Myrtelle Snell, the Alabama administrator who made the slogan “Banned in Birmingham” famous. Censorship continues today, with Utah’s case against Deadpool (2016) pending in federal court and Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills (2013) versus the Texas Film Commission. This authoritative state-by-state account covers the history of film censorship and the battle for free speech in America.