1951-1960ComedyDramaElia KazanUSA

Elia Kazan – Baby Doll (1956)

A child bride holds her husband at bay while flirting with a sexy Italian farmer.

When the film was released in 1956, it was enormously controversial for its extremely risqué subject matter. The Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the film for its “carnal suggestiveness”. Cardinal Francis J. Spellman condemned the film in a stunning attack from the pulpit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral two days before the film opened. He said that the film had been “responsibly judged to be evil in concept” and would “exert an immoral and corrupting influence on those who see it”. He exhorted all Catholics to refrain from patronizing the film “under pain of sin”. Cardinal Spellman’s condemnation of the film led to the Legion of Decency’s first-ever nationwide boycott of an American-made major studio film. All over the country, almost 20 million Catholics protested the film and picketed theaters that showed it. The Catholic boycott nearly killed the film; it was can-celled by 77% of theaters scheduled to show it, and made a meager $600,000 at the box office. The film was also condemned by Time Magazine, which called it the dirtiest American-made motion picture that had ever been legally exhibited. Surprisingly, despite the film’s sordid elements, the Production Code Administration gave it a seal of approval, but only after nearly a year of arguments. This was one of many examples of how the lax attitude of new Code official Geoffrey Shurlock, the successor at the PCA to the strict Catholic militant Joseph I. Breen, would lead to a schism with the Legion of Decency, and to the PCA’s own downfall over the next few years. After this film, the PCA drifted farther and farther away from its traditional guidelines until it was replaced by the MPAA ratings system in 1968.

3.14GB | 1h 54m | 1024×552 | mkv



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