Movie Censorship and American Culture


Movie Censorship and American Culture



Edited by Francis G. Couvares.

Includes a chapter by College at Brockport faculty member Alison M. Parker: Mothering the movies : women reformers and popular culture.

From the earliest days of public outrage over "indecent" nickelodeon shows, Americans have worried about the power of the movies. The eleven essays in this book examine nearly a century of struggle over cinematic representations of sex, crime, violence, religion, race, and ethnicity, revealing that the effort to regulate the screen has reflected deep social and cultural schisms. In addition to the editor, contributors include Daniel Czitrom, Marybeth Hamilton, Garth Jowett, Charles Lyons, Richard Maltby, Charles Musser, Alison M. Parker, Charlene Regester, Ruth Vasey, and Stephen Vaughn. Together they make it clear that censoring the movies is more than just a reflex against "indecency," however defined. Whether censorship protects the vulnerable or suppresses the creative, it is part of a broader culture war that breaks out recurrently as Americans try to come to terms with the market, the state, and the plural society in which they live.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.

x, 334 p. : illustrations ; 24 cm.

Series: Smithsonian studies in the history of film & television


Film and Media Studies




Located in Drake Library at: PN1995.62 .M68 1996

CONTENTS: The politics of performance : theater licensing and the origins of movie censorship in New York / Daniel Czitrom -- Passions and the passion play : theater, film, and religion in America, 1880-1900 / Charles Musser -- Mothering the movies : women reformers and popular culture / Alison M. Parker -- "To prevent the prevalent type of book" : censorship and adaptation in Hollywood, 1924-1934 / Richard Maltby -- Hollywood, main street, and the church : trying to censor the movies before the production code / Francis G. Couvares -- Black films-white censors : Oscar Micheaux confronts censorship in New York, Virginia, and Chicago / Charlene Regester -- Goodness had nothing to do with it : censoring Mae West / Marybeth Hamilton -- Foreign parts : Hollywood's global distribution and the representation of ethnicity / Ruth Vasey -- Political censorship during the Cold War : the Hollywood ten / Stephen Vaughn -- "A significant medium for the communication of ideas" : the Miracle decision and the decline of motion picture censorship, 1952-1968 / Garth Jowett -- The paradox of protest : American film, 1980-1992 / Charles Lyons.

Movie Censorship and American Culture