Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Museum Exhibit Explores Illinois Film Censorship Bureau

posted by Nell Minow

Illinois’ Lisle Station Museum has an exhibit about the little-known and less-remembered history of film censorship in Chicago under the direction of what was originally called the Police Censor Board, formed in 1907, the first such oversight organization in the country. It remained in force until 1984, though of course its work had long since been superseded by first the Hays code and then the MPAA.

Titled “Banned in Chicago: Eight Decades of Film Censorship in the Windy City,” it examines the history behind film censorship in Chicago and provides a glimpse into the types of films that were being censored and a broader look at the implications of censorship throughout America.

Advertisement

The Chicago Tribune wrote:

Though this gathering, vividly illustrated with documents and photos and embellished by clear writing, is based on serious academic research, it is wildly, somewhat weirdly and even comically entertaining.

For each film viewed, the board members would fill out censor cards, detailing their complaints. The card regarding the movie “Woodstock” in 1972, for instance, contains notations such as a “hippie cult song festival,” “nudity, free sex and pot smoking.” Efforts to ban that film were unsuccessful.

Not so “Scarface.” That 1932 film, generally regarded as the first gangster movie, starring Paul Muni and written by former Chicago newspaperman Ben Hecht, never did play at any Chicago movie house when it was first released. Such was the clout of the board for a time.

It will be on display through August 16, 2014.

Previous Posts

Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?
The end of August is traditionally one of the year's low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse "Straight Outta Compton" lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, the Owen ...

posted 5:00:55pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 1)
Alex Sheremet is the author of Woody Allen: Reel to Real, an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the most prolific and singular ...

posted 3:33:45pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Week: A Walk in the Woods and Learning to Drive
This week, two movies are based on first-person accounts by writers telling their own real-life stories. In The New Yorker, Katha ...

posted 3:15:50pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Wes Craven
We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared.  His series films included "Scream," "Nightmare on Elm Street," and "The Hills Have Eyes." My friend Simon Abrams interviewed Craven for ...

posted 10:53:30am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Rachel Hendrix of "77 Chances"
Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film "77 Chances." It's a "Groundhog Day"-style story about a young man who feels lost ...

posted 3:39:15pm Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.