What shocked the censors! (1933)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to mhdl@commarts.wisc.edu with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

INTRODUCTION By Prof. Eduard C. Lindeman "Many of those who are seriously advocating the censorship of literature, the screen, and the stage, are quite correct in their general position, and wrong only because they do not see that the kind of censorship which they advocate, and which is to some extent, unfor- tunately, put into practice, does not attain its object, and only increases the evil. . . . Control of propaganda, through the muzzling of the press, censorship of books, theatres, and movies, and regulation of the expression of teachers, is the sure method of putting propaganda eventually in the hands of the strongly organized and socially destruc- tive powers of selfishness." — Knight Dunlap, Social Psychology. Censorship represents one of the chronic and persistent confusions in American life. The advent of motion pictures, appealing as they do to the masses, to children as well as adults, to the ignorant as well as the sophisticated, has sharply accentuated the problem and rendered the "confusion worse confounded." Motion picture censorship began to appear as a formidable claim in 1907, shortly after the showing of a melodramatic film called "The Great Automobile Robbery". An actual automobile theft occurring subsequently was associated with this picture. In 1915 the first trial concerning the freedom of motion pictures was carried to the Supreme Court. State-wide censorship now exists in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, Maryland, and Virginia, and numerous municipalities support local boards of censors. Proposals to ex- tend censorship to the nation as a whole by means of federal enactment con- tinually re-appear but thus far all attempts in this direction have failed. The National Council on Freedom from Censorship disbelieves in all forms of censorship on principle but it recognizes the fact that mere opposition does not constitute an effective attack. Consequently, the Council assumes! the more difficult task of presenting its arguments in terms of actual facts concerning the operation of censorship, coupled with affirmations which it presumes to be both scientific and logical. As indicated in Mr. Hatcher Hughes' Foreword, the Council has enjoyed the privilege of reviewing the work performed by the Motion Picture Division of the Department of Educa- tion (the censorship body for New York Stare). The interpretation which follows is based upon an examination of fifteen months of censorship activity on the part of this Division. The Work of the Censors: A Quantitative Interpretation. In explanation of the ensuing chart it should be mentioned that the term "features" means a full-length motion picture used as the principal showing at a single performance; the term "shorts" covers shorter films used as parts of the regular performance, such as comedies, travel scenes, et cetera.