Freedom Of The Screen

Author: Laura Wittern-Keller
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813172640
Size: 59.53 MB
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At the turn of the twentieth century, the proliferation of movies attracted not only the attention of audiences across America but also the apprehensive eyes of government officials and special interest groups concerned about the messages disseminated by the silver screen. Between 1907 and 1926, seven states—New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Kansas, Maryland, and Massachusetts—and more than one hundred cities authorized censors to suppress all images and messages considered inappropriate for American audiences. Movie studios, hoping to avoid problems with state censors, worrying that censorship might be extended to the federal level, and facing increased pressure from religious groups, also jumped into the censoring business, restraining content through the adoption of the self-censoring Production Code, also known as the Hays code.But some industry outsiders, independent distributors who believed that movies deserved the free speech protections of the First Amendment, brought legal challenges to censorship at the state and local levels. Freedom of the Screen chronicles both the evolution of judicial attitudes toward film restriction and the plight of the individuals who fought for the right to deliver provocative and relevant movies to American audiences. The path to cinematic freedom was marked with both achievements and roadblocks, from the establishment of the Production Code Administration, which effectively eradicated political films after 1934, to the landmark cases over films such as The Miracle (1948), La ronde (1950), and Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1955) that paved the way for increased freedom of expression. As the fight against censorship progressed case by case through state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, legal authorities and the public responded, growing increasingly sympathetic toward artistic freedom. Because a small, unorganized group of independent film distributors and exhibitors in mid-twentieth-century America fought back against what they believed was the unconstitutional prior restraint of motion pictures, film after 1965 was able to follow a new path, maturing into an artistic medium for the communication of ideas, however controversial. Government censors would no longer control the content of America’s movie screens. Laura Wittern-Keller’s use of previously unexplored archival material and interviews with key figures earned her the researcher of the year award from the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust. Her exhaustive work is the first to discuss more than five decades of film censorship battles that rose from state and local courtrooms to become issues of national debate and significance. A compendium of judicial action in the film industry, Freedom of the Screen is a tribute to those who fought for the constitutional right of free expression and paved the way for the variety of films that appear in cinemas today.

Monitoring The Movies

Author: Jennifer Fronc
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477313931
Size: 76.70 MB
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As movies took the country by storm in the early twentieth century, Americans argued fiercely about whether municipal or state authorities should step in to control what people could watch when they went to movie theaters, which seemed to be springing up on every corner. Many who opposed the governmental regulation of film conceded that some entity—boards populated by trusted civic leaders, for example—needed to safeguard the public good. The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (NB), a civic group founded in New York City in 1909, emerged as a national cultural chaperon well suited to protect this emerging form of expression from state incursions. Using the National Board's extensive files, Monitoring the Movies offers the first full-length study of the NB and its campaign against motion-picture censorship. Jennifer Fronc traces the NB's Progressive-era founding in New York; its evolving set of "standards" for directors, producers, municipal officers, and citizens; its "city plan," which called on citizens to report screenings of condemned movies to local officials; and the spread of the NB's influence into the urban South. Ultimately, Monitoring the Movies shows how Americans grappled with the issues that arose alongside the powerful new medium of film: the extent of the right to produce and consume images and the proper scope of government control over what citizens can see and show.

Winnie Lightner

Author: David L. Lightner
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 149680984X
Size: 63.44 MB
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Winnie Lightner (1899–1971) stood out as the first great female comedian of the talkies. Blessed with a superb singing voice and a gift for making wisecracks and rubber faces, she rose to stardom in vaudeville and on Broadway. Then, at the dawn of the sound era, she became the first person in motion picture history to have her spoken words, the lyrics to a song, censored. In Winnie Lightner: Tomboy of the Talkies, David L. Lightner shows how Winnie Lightner’s hilarious performance in the 1929 musical comedy Gold Diggers of Broadway made her an overnight sensation. She went on to star in seven other Warner Bros. features. In the best of them, she was the comic epitome of a strident feminist, dominating men and gleefully spurning conventional gender norms and moral values. So tough was she, the studio billed her as “the tomboy of the talkies.” When the Great Depression rendered moviegoers hostile toward feminism, Warner Bros. tried to craft a new image of her as glamorous and sexy. Executives assigned her contradictory roles in which she was empowered in the workplace but submissive to her male partner at home. The new persona flopped at the box office, and Lightner’s stardom ended. In four final movies, she played supporting roles as the loudmouthed roommate and best friend of actresses Loretta Young, Joan Crawford, and Mona Barrie. Following her retirement in 1934, Lightner faded into obscurity. Many of her films were damaged or even lost entirely. At long last, this biography gives Winnie Lightner the recognition she deserves as a notable figure in film history, in women’s history, and in the history of show business.

Children Cinema And Censorship

Author: Sarah Smith
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 9781850438137
Size: 46.13 MB
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Using original research, this book explores the recurring debates in Britain and America about children and how they use and respond to the media, focusing on a key example: the controversy surrounding children and cinema in the 1930s. It explores the attempts to control children's viewing, the theories that supported these approaches and the extent to which they were successful. The author develops her challenging proposition that children are agents in their cinema viewing, not victims; showing how these angels with dirty faces colonized the cinema. She reveals their distinct cinema culture and the ways in which they subverted or circumvented official censorship including the Hays Code and the British Board of Film Censors, to regulate their own viewing of a variety of films, including Frankenstein, King Kong and The Cat and the Canary.

It S Only A Movie

Author: Raymond J. Haberski
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813171128
Size: 42.76 MB
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Banned In Kansas

Author: Gerald R. Butters
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 77.86 MB
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"This first book-length study of state film censorship examines the unique political, social, and economic factors that led to its implementation in Kansas, taking a look at why censorship legislation was enacted, what the attitudes of Kansans were toward censorship, and why it lasted for half a century"--Provided by publisher.

The Legalist Reformation

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807855041
Size: 67.96 MB
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Based on a detailed examination of New York case law, this pathbreaking book shows how law, politics, and ideology in the state changed in tandem between 1920 and 1980. Early twentieth-century New York was the scene of intense struggle between white, Angl

Choice

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 45.41 MB
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