Record #227

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Additional text in Transcription. EDITORIAL COMMENT: Individual documents are detailed on separate records. These documents contain material to identify all significant state and municipal censorship activity then current. It might be worth producing a map of the censorship territory.

Documents relating to censorship, some apparently drawn from Pettijohn's file. They include both pro and anti-censorship statements (mostly anti), taken from journals, books, sermons, statements etc. Also included are a list of city and state censorship boards and their personnel; a history of censorship in New York State; and some of the restrictions enforced by the Chicago censor.


Censorship (112), Chicago (2), Massachusetts (2), New York (12), Women and motion pictures (2) Show all keywords…



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Pro-censorship article by Clinton Woodruff in The Dalhousie Review (n.d.) quoting from a wide variety of sources, including adverse comment on movies from Charles McMahon. Woodruff also, intriguingly, suggests that liquor sellers brought prohibition on themselves by selling inferior product, as the movies are doing. Lists the very broad terms of reference for censorship in British Columbia.Extracts from Charles N Lathrop, The Motion Picture Problem (1922), noting that several states, while not passing legislation establishing censorship boards, did make it a misdemeanor to exhibit motion pictures that are "obscene, indecent, or detrimental to the morals of the community." - e.g. North Carolina.Editorial, Ladies Home Journal April 21: Feminine patrons of the movies are very largely in the majority. In most families the women lead the way. The men trail along and hope they may see Charlie Chaplin or Mutt and Jeff or "Doug" Fairbanks, when his antics are not too unbelievable. The men are also interested in the news pictures and hope against hope that some worth while longreel feature may be shown. Infrequently they are rewarded. More often they must sit situation through a nightmare serial, a sickening bathing girl frolic, a hectic drama in which human nature is inverted, perverted and countered to a degree that must cause the low-grade feeble-minded to wonder why they have not been invited into the inner counsels of the celluloid barons. And woman is to blame for it all! She is the causation. Primarily the pictures are made for her. She has been analyzed by the studio psychologists. Her reactions have been indexed and charted. She has peaks and valleys of enthusiasm - mostly peaks. She is the low popular taste that this enormous new industry is influenced by in its choice of themes and their execution." - takes a pro-National Board of Review (NBR) stance. This is a very useful piece in laying out a clear version of the woman argument, and why women's groups should be concerned with this indictment, in relation to their new political power. This argument seems to suggest that if women were seen as the primary consumers, and the stuff was "inverted", then the fact that this appealed to women was a reason not to take women seriously in this or in other areas of activity. So there's a running argument, which will eventually culminate in the Prodigal Daughter films, that all this chaos is the result of giving women the vote. The culture of consumption is forging a newly central place for women as its primary consumers, at the same time as it is declaring that activity to be about inconsequentiality - which makes the consumers "inconsequential" as well.

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