The Federal Council of Churches Enters the Frame

William D. Romanowski

in Reforming Hollywood

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387841
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950188 | DOI:
The Federal Council of Churches Enters the Frame

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This chapter examines the contours of movie regulation in the wake of a crucial and far-reaching Supreme Court decision that denied free speech protection to movies in 1915. The National Board treated movies as an adult entertainment and means of free expression and refused to censor films as to their suitability for young moviegoers. Consequently, the Board’s credibility waned, but producers and Protestant leaders agreed that some mode of regulation was necessary. Two divergent approaches emerged. Some clergy backed legislation to create a federal film commission. The Federal Council of Churches favored industry self-regulation, believing that putting the onus on filmmakers to serve the public welfare was more consistent with the principles of individual liberty and social duty than relying on an external review board.

Keywords: Supreme Court; free speech; National Board; Federal Council of Churches; undividual liberty; social duty

Chapter.  6605 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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