Mass Culture: Catholic Americanism at the Movies, 1930-1947

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2007-04-18

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Between 1930 and 1947 (and ultimately, to 1967), the Hollywood film industry adhered to a set of rules, known as the Production Code, that set boundaries on the content of movies produced and distributed by the major studios. Influenced by Catholic theology, and written by a Catholic lay person and a Catholic priest, the Production Code and the films of the Production Code-era have been mined by historians for evidence of Catholic censorship in Hollywood. This thesis explores another side the relationship between Hollywood and the Church, exploring the productive relationship between these major twentieth-century institutions, and the cultural negotiations that resulted in the representation of Catholicism as the American religion of the silver screen.

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