Miracles and Sacrilege: Robert Rossellini, the Church, and Film Censorship in Hollywood

Front Cover
University of Toronto Press, Jan 5, 2008 - Performing Arts - 538 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

Miracles and Sacrilege is the story of the epochal conflict between censorship and freedom in film, recounted through an in-depth analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a government ban on Roberto Rossellini’s film The Miracle (1950). In this extraordinary case, the Court ultimately chose to abandon its own longstanding determination that film comprised a mere ‘business’ unworthy of free-speech rights, declaring for the first time that the First Amendment barred government from banning any film as ‘sacreligious.’

Using legal briefs, affidavits, and other court records, as well as letters, memoranda, and other archival materials to elucidate what was at issue in the case, William Bruce Johnson also analyzes the social, cultural, and religious elements that form the background of this complex and hard-fought controversy, focusing particularly on the fundamental role played by the Catholic Church in the history of film censorship. Tracing the development of the Church in the United States, Johnson discusses the reasons it found The Miracle sacrilegious and how it attained the power to persuade civil authorities to ban it. The Court’s decision was not only a milestone in the law of church-state relations, but it paved the way for a succession of later decisions which gradually established a firm legal basis for freedom of expression in the arts.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

17 A Sense of Decency and Good Morals
18 The Law Knows No Heresy
19 In the Supreme Court
20 Candour and Shame
Notes
12 New Realities
13 Visions of Mary
14 Mary or Communism

8 The Legion of Decency
9 The Breen Office
10 The Paramount Case
11 Cocktails and Communism
12 New Realities
13 Visions of Mary
14 Mary or Communism
15 The Priest as Public Figure
16 Woman Further Defamed
15 The Priest as Public Figure
16 Woman Further Defamed
17 A Sense of Decency and Good Morals
18 The Law Knows No Heresy
19 In the Supreme Court
20 Candour and Shame
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

William Bruce Johnson is an attorney and writer based in New York. He holds a PhD from the University of London.

Bibliographic information