Martin Quigley (publisher)

Martin J. Quigley, Sr. (1890–1964) was an American publisher, editor and film magazine journalist. He founded Exhibitors Herald, which became an important national trade paper for the film industry.[1] He was also founder of Quigley Publishing.

Publishing and journalism career

In 1915, Quigley purchased the film trade journal Exhibitors Herald. In 1917, he acquired and merged Motography.[1] In 1927, he acquired and merged The Moving Picture World and began publishing as Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, later shortened to Exhibitors Herald World. After acquiring Motion Picture News in 1930,[2] he merged these publications into the Motion Picture Herald.[3][4][5]

Role in Motion Picture Production Code

Quigley was an active proponent and co-author of the Motion Picture Production Code, which governed the content of Hollywood movies from the 1930s to the 1960s. A devout Catholic, he began lobbying in the 1920s for a more extensive code that not only listed material that was inappropriate for movies, but also contained a moral system that the movies could help to promote – specifically a system based on Catholic theology.

He recruited Father Daniel Lord, a Jesuit priest and instructor at the Catholic St. Louis University, to write such a code and on March 31, 1930 the board of directors of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association adopted it formally. This original version especially was once popularly known as the Hays Code, but it and its later revisions are now commonly called the Production Code.

Personal life

Quigley was a devout Roman Catholic and held staunch conservative views particularly in the film industry. His son, Martin Quigley, Jr., who shared his views, became active in the editing and publication of the various periodicals established by his father, but had far less impact due to the changing times and the decline of the Code.


  1. 1 2 "Exhibitors Herald Mar–Apr 1924". Lantern. Media History Digital Library. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  2. "Martin Quigley, Wrote Film Code". The New York Times. May 5, 1964. (subscription required (help)).
  3. "The Press: Cinema Corner". Time. December 22, 1930. (subscription required (help)).
  4. "Screen Papers Merged: Exhibitors' Herald and Moving Picture World Close Deal". The New York Times. December 30, 1927. (subscription required (help)).
  5. "Film Magazines Merge". The New York Times. December 15, 1930. Retrieved August 3, 2015. (subscription required (help)).
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