Sin and Censorship: The Catholic Church and the Motion Picture Industry

By Weber, Francis J. | The Catholic Historical Review, July 1997 | Go to article overview

Sin and Censorship: The Catholic Church and the Motion Picture Industry


Weber, Francis J., The Catholic Historical Review


Sin and Censorship:The Catholic Church and the Motion Picture Industry. By Frank Walsh. (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1996. Pp. xi, 394. $35.00.) If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had a category for the "best book" of the year, one of the chief contenders for the 1996 award would surely be this treatise by a professor of history in the University of Massachusetts. It accurately and yet candidly tells the story of how the Catholic Church became "the most successful pressure group in the history of the movies and why it was eventually forced to relinquish its power."

The saga of the Church's role in motion pictures began with a decision to launch a campaign during World War I against government-sponsored movies aimed at preventing the spread of venereal diseases among the military. Then, beginning in 1934, with the establishment of the Legion of Decency, the Church became a major and effective influence in determining both what Americans saw and did not see on the screen during Hollywood's "golden age."

In fourteen carefully documented chapters, the author outlines the work of the Legion as it evolved over the years. He explains how pressures were exerted to force Gypsy Rose Lee to change her screen name, to alter a dance sequence in Oklahoma, to eliminate infidelity in Two-Faced Woman, to block distribution of Birth of a Baby, and to compel Howard Hughes to make 147 cuts in The Outlaw. Between 1934 and 1980, the Legion and/or the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures classified no fewer than 16,521 films. No group then or since exerted a greater presence on the Hollywood scene.

The Walsh study traces not only the origins of the Church's involvement and success with motion pictures, but also its decline. Recognizing that the Legion was starting to lose touch with a new generation of better-educated Catholics in the post-Vatican Council II days, ecclesial leaders first liberalized the Legion's classification system and, in 1965, changed its name to the National Office for Motion Pictures. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sin and Censorship: The Catholic Church and the Motion Picture Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.