The movies shoulda been Snow White but they drifted: the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae responds to the movie menace

Brosnan, Eileen (2003) The movies shoulda been Snow White but they drifted: the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae responds to the movie menace. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the role played by the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae (IFCA) in the American film industry throughout the 1920s and the early years of the Depression. The IFCA was an umbrella organization that united the many Catholic alumnae groups in the United States, as well as several in Canada and Europe. Convinced that salacious media were damaging American society, the IFCA sought to cleanse modem literature and theatre. They eventually turned their attention to the American cinema, which was one of the most popular pastimes in the nation. The IFCA established a Motion Picture Bureau, which worked with the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association in order to ensure that a Catholic sensibility was properly represented in the movie debate that was storming the United States. The Bureau was the most committed and prolific Catholic agency working to moralize the movies. Eventually, however, the American Catholic hierarchy decided a much stronger force was needed in order to battle film immorality, a decision that led to the establishment in 1933 of the National Legion of Decency. The Legion was the most powerful social pressure group that film industry had ever faced; the IFCA Motion Picture Bureau was relegated to join the Legion's review staff in order to remain relevant to the American film reform movement. -- Very little has been written on the IFCA’s film reform work, though it represents an important crossroads in the history of American women, American Catholicism, and Hollywood film. Utilizing the substantial primary sources from the Catholic University of America Archives documenting the history of the film bureau of the IFCA, this thesis investigates the background, organization, aims, and dynamic of the IFCA in order to understand how it came to hold such an important position in American film reform.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10214
Item ID: 10214
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 117-121.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2003
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Catholic women--United States; Motion pictures--Censorship--United States; Motion pictures--Moral and ethical aspects.

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