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Sex and Violence examines the history and social dynamics of film censorship in the United States. It examines censorship controversies throughout film history, from the beginning of cinema in the 1890s to the present. The book focuses both on formal censorship systems, including state and local censorship boards and industry self-regulation efforts, to unofficial censorship rendered by pressure groups and powerful social movements. It probes beneath the official rhetoric and explanations, revealing sensitive, festering controversies.
The book critically examines dozens of Hollywood’s most controversial (and interesting) movies, focusing on recurring issues and censorship themes. The book reveals the social and political processes of vetting films and their effect on film form and content. In addition, it examines the use of sexuality and violence in movies and the effects of movie censorship on those issues. Finally, it analyzes and makes recommendations for dramatic changes in motion picture ratings.