Children, Cinema and Censorship: From Dracula to Dead End

Overview

Using original research, this book explores the recurring debates in Britain and America about children and how they use and respond to the media, focusing on a key example: the controversy surrounding children and cinema in the 1930s. It explores the attempts to control children's viewing, the theories that supported these approaches and the extent to which they were successful. The author develops her challenging proposition that children are agents in their cinema viewing, not victims; showing how these angels...

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Overview

Using original research, this book explores the recurring debates in Britain and America about children and how they use and respond to the media, focusing on a key example: the controversy surrounding children and cinema in the 1930s. It explores the attempts to control children's viewing, the theories that supported these approaches and the extent to which they were successful. The author develops her challenging proposition that children are agents in their cinema viewing, not victims; showing how these angels with dirty faces colonized the cinema. She reveals their distinct cinema culture and the ways in which they subverted or circumvented official censorship including the Hays Code and the British Board of Film Censors, to regulate their own viewing of a variety of films, including Frankenstein, King Kong and The Cat and the Canary.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sarah J. Smith is Lecturer in History and Director of Open Studies at the University of Reading.

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Table of Contents

1 The doom of a generation? 1
2 How Bridget served the salad undressed : the regulation of cinema 1895-1929 18
3 It ain't no sin : the regulation of cinema 1929-1939 45
4 Moral panic or flapdoodle? 77
5 Children as censors 105
6 Matinees, clubs and children's cinema culture 141
7 Children and cinema : control and resistance 174
App. 1 T. P. O'Connor's 43 rules of the BBFC 179
App. 2 BBFC codified grounds for censorship, 1926 181
App. 3 List of 'don'ts and be carefuls', adopted by California Association for guidance of producers, 8 June 1927 184
App. 4 Films classified as 'horrific' or certified 'H' by the BBFC, 1933-40 186
App. 5 Members of the Edinburgh Cinema Enquiry Committee 188
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