Record #1139

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Reel 11
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Legion of Decency

Re encyclical approving of Legion of Decency. Alarm that the translation refers to the need for "control" rather than "regulation" which was apparently intended.


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Article or press release typescript -- not MPPDA ? -- on the Papal Encyclical commenting on Brooklyn Tablet article of 11 July 1936 "There is nothing here inimical to the motion picture industry. Naturally the Pope gives entire credit to the Legion of Decency, for progress made. Considering the fact that he is in touch with the industry in this country only through the reports of his agents, some friendly and some unfriendly, this point of view is wholly understandable. "The industry is ready and willing to give credit to the Legion of Decency for its undoubted aid in the matter of better films, but it also likes to remember that Will H. Hays has struggled for some fourteen years, without any great amount of constructive outside help, to achieve this same end and that he had at least reached the point where, before the Legion of Decency was formed, he had brought about a good deal of order out of chaos, established a self-regulatory Code which was constantly working to better effect, had seen the production of such pictures as Little Women, Cavalcade and The Sign of the Cross ... "One thing to which the industry could not readily accede might be that the motion picture should not be a means of diversion and light relaxation, but must be a light and positive guide to what is good. "The industry has always held that religion is the business of the church, education the business of the schools, and social uplift the business of many organizations devoted to that purpose. It holds that the chief and main function of the screen is entertainment and that any lesson taught by an amusement picture is incidental to its chief aim. It does, of course, realize and believe that the motion picture is valuable in religious, educational and social matters, but that is an entirely different field and one which belongs to the church, the school and the lecture hall. Those who go to the motion picture theatres of the country pay their money to be entertained and would have a perfect right to resent having religion, education or propaganda forced on them in the guise of entertainment."Letters indicating Quigley is upset by an alleged mistranslation of one word in the Encyclical, where 'control' should have been 'regulation'.

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