Chapter

Reforming the Movies

William D. Romanowski

in Reforming Hollywood

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387841
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950188 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387841.003.0001
Reforming the Movies

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This chapter describes Protestant movie reform as an effort to counteract any negative influence and turn the cinema into an ally of home, school, and church. To both fend off legal censorship and expand its prospects with middle-class audiences, in 1909 the film industry empowered the National Board of Censorship (later Review) of Motion Pictures to enlist a group of New York’s cultural custodians to sign off on movies for general consumption. Though ecumenical, the National Board’s membership was heavily Protestant. The Board was eventually stymied by its conflicting purposes. In effect censoring movies to protect the industry from legal censorship, the Board was unable to maintain a broad enough consensus on standards to adequately reflect diverse public opinion.

Keywords: legal censorship; public opinion; Protestant movie reform; middle-class audiences

Chapter.  5513 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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