The National Legion of Decency (originally the Catholic Legion of Decency, but I guess they diversified) spent much of the mid twentieth century hassling Hollywood about movies it deemed inappropriate. And now you can watch those movies from the comfort of your basic cable package!
Flavorwire reports on the series, running every Thursday in March on Turner Classic Movies:
Condemned, as TMC is calling it, seeks to explore the Catholic church’s impact on film’s history. When it was at its most effective, the Legion of Decency handed out grades that sometimes resulted in the film’s being reworked. The grading system was pretty simple, and familiar to anyone who attended school in the U.S.: an “A” was given to films found to bemorally unobjectionable, a “B” given to films found to be morally objectionable in part, and a “C” was given to films that were, terrifyingly, condemned.
Featured films include M, L’Amore, And God Created Woman, and Baby Doll. (That last one in particular—to be fair to the National Legion of Decency—is pretty fucked up.) See the full list here. Hosting will be film critic Sister Rose Pacatte of The Daughters of St. Paul, which should be really interesting.
It’s hard to imagine a more eloquent testimony to the failure of midcentury censorship outlets than the fact these movies are now fodder for primetime programming on TCM, which, while one of my favorite channels, doesn’t exactly have a rep for where you go to get titillated.
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