Protestants and Hollywood at the Crossroads

William D. Romanowski

in Reforming Hollywood

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387841
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950188 | DOI:
Protestants and Hollywood at the Crossroads

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This chapter shows that in the early 1930s Protestant leaders sought a national policy that was not aimed at curbing artistic expression, but at opening the market for movies of high moral and artistic quality. They were convinced that guaranteed exhibition gave the studios less incentive to produce high-quality films and restricted independent production. Legislation curtailing block booking, they believed, could correct this, and also remedy Hollywood’s perceived lack of artistic integrity by restoring a free market. The Federal Council’s entanglement with the MPPDA had impaired its leadership, however. With Protestant relations in jeopardy, Will Hays bolstered his alliance with Catholics, inviting them to help draw up a new Production Code in 1930 in what was a visible sign of the erosion of Protestant power.

Keywords: Production Code; prior censorship; artistic expression; block booking; Catholics

Chapter.  6858 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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