‘The Outlaw’ outlawed by cleavage


Howard Hughes’ 1943 western ‘The Outlaw’ was initially banned from release by Hollywood censors who demanded parts of the film be cut because of newcomer Jane Russell’s cleavage.

The billionaire movie maker reluctantly removed about half a minute of footage but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the censors. The movie company backed out of the project. Hughes, facing the loss of big bucks, cooked up a scheme.

Using reverse psychology, Hughes created a public outcry for his film to be banned. He had his managers call ministers, women’s clubs and housewives, informing them about the ‘lewd picture’ he was about to release.

The outraged prudes responded by insisting that the movie be banned, which generated the publicity Hughes needed to establish a demand for the film and get it released.

Accordingly, the movie was a box-office hit.

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