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Reforming HollywoodHow American Protestants Fought for Freedom at the Movies$
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William D. Romanowski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387841

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387841.001.0001

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One Foot in Hollywood

One Foot in Hollywood

The Protestant Film Commission

Chapter:
(p.108) 7 One Foot in Hollywood
Source:
Reforming Hollywood
Author(s):

William D. Romanowski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387841.003.0007

This chapter looks at the challenges Protestants encountered after World War II when an emphasis on individual liberties translated into public opposition to film censorship and boycotts. Denominational agencies formed the Protestant Film Commission to represent their interests in Hollywood. This West Coast Office offered a voluntary script review service and helped studios promote movies to churchgoers. But a major transformation was underway in the film industry. The studio oligopoly was finished at last, the result of a Supreme Court decision banning block booking and forcing the studios to sell their theaters. Other rulings that extended First Amendment protection to film began undermining prior censorship and, by direct implication, church control over movie content. This state of affairs shaped the renamed National Council of Churches’ next major initiative.

Keywords:   Protestant Film Commission, World War II, censorship, boycotts, Supreme Court, block booking, First Amendment, National council of Churches

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