FREEDOM OF MOTION PICTURES
MOTION PICTURES have been a major mass medium in America for the greatest part of this century but only since mid-century have they begun to enjoy the constitutional protection accorded to expression in print. Because of the movies' primary concern with entertainment and their presumed ability to influence the young, efforts to attain full freedom of expression have been thwarted by the exertion of police power of the states and cities under the purpose of protecting the health and morals of their citizens.
The old problem of prior restraint or censorship, apparently settled once and for all for newspapers by the Near case has long been an issue with motion pictures. The Supreme Court itself is split over the question of whether the First Amendment permits any prior restraint of motion pictures.
The Court's attitude toward films was for many years determined by the Mutual Film Corporation decision of 19151 which denied the protection of the First Amendment to a medium it regarded as a "business, pure and simple, originated and conducted for profit." This position prevailed until 1952.
In 1952, the famous Miracle case overturned the Mutual Film Corporation case, and the Supreme Court ruled for the first time that motion pictures were protected by the First____________________