An excellent video guide to the extraordinary story of how the US Catholic church gained control over US cinema content. They were able to block any item from scripts or costume design deemed morally unacceptable. Any studio (in the 1930s a big five controlled production and cinema through to a 1948 Supreme Court antitrust ruling) who dared defy the papal censor's pen and get a C rating (A for Acceptable, B for some morally dubious content, C for Condemned) faced a mass boycott. Millions of Catholics swore an oath not to view any C movies upon pain of losing their immortal soul!!!!
The short film asks WHY WOULD HOLLYWOOD ACCEPT THIS?!?!
The answer is the same reasons why the UK film industry set up the BBFC a century ago:
- fear of national governmental regulation
- trying to sidestep the many LOCAL censorship codes that were making distribution complex and expensive
The early years of UK TV regulation saw a similar level of pre-broadcast censorship, with shows details scrutinised before filming, and schedules also subject to tight control by the regulator.
The press ditched such controls several centuries ago!