Turner Classic Movies (TCM) rolled out plans for an unusual programming block in which the cable net will run 27 films that have been labeled “condemned” or “objectionable” by the Catholic Legion of Decency.
“Founded in 1933, the Catholic Legion of Decency was dedicated to combating objectionable content in films, often of a sexual nature, from the viewpoint of the Catholic Church,” TCM says in its announcement. “The Legion distributed a list of ratings for films, classifying them as A (morally unobjectionable), B (morally objectionable in part) or C (condemned). The ‘Condemned’ programming slate will explore these films, screening 27 movies that were either condemned or found objectionable by this influential organization.
The “Condemned” slate launches Thursday, March 3, at 8 p.m., with programming to run every Thursday throughout March. Prime-time screenings will be hosted by Sister Rose Pacatte, a member of The Daughters of St. Paul, founding director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies and celebrated film reviewer.
Said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM: “We’re always looking for creative ways to explore film history through various viewpoints and this month-long programming slate provides fans with a different perspective in order to view these films through a new lens.”
Here are some of the highlights, as listed in the TCM announcement:
Baby Face (1933) — Barbara Stanwyck uses sexuality to get ahead.
And God Created Woman (1956) — The French film created Brigitte Bardot’s “sex kitten” image.
Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) — Billy Wilder’s comedy about a singer who has to have sex regularly to avoid headaches.
The Carey Treatment (1972) — Blake Edwards thriller revolving around illegal abortion.
The Moon Is Blue (1953) — The film was condemned by the Legion and bypassed the Production Code entirely.
L’Amore (1948) — Led to a Supreme Court lawsuit in 1952 known as the “Miracle Decision” after being condemned by the Legion. The ruling declared that motion pictures were a form of artistic expression protected by freedom of speech and guaranteed under the First Amendment.