TCM Announces Programming Event Featuring Movies Condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency

Feb 22, 2016  •  Post A Comment

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.

baby face-1933-Barbara Stanwyck


  1. Add Redheaded Woman with Harlow

  2. TCM’s interest in exploring film history through a different viewpoint is commendable, however, I question the timing of such viewing being the month of March, which this year celebrates the holiest of Catholic holy days Holy Thursday, Good Friday. Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
    Why couldn’t these films be aired during a different month?

    • What BETTER time? How about Christmas week?

  3. I’m more interested in seeing A few ArchBishops go to prison and start paying for the damage they have done to thousands of American children, than read about their taste in movies.

  4. None of those films will raise an eyebrow by today’s standards. Kiss me Stupid and Moon is Blue will put you to sleep if you want sex.

  5. One thing the Church forgot what one-time husband Mickey Hargitay understood: “Zex is here to shtay.”

  6. The Church is so weak that the airing of these movies, at this time of year, is some sort of threat or insult. Religious folk have been versed in viewing artistic expression and/or free speech, if perceived as against church teaching, as something to be condemned and kept from the public. When a suggestion is made to postpone or refrain from sharing something, I hope the thought, “To what end.”, comes to mind.

  7. Only one of these films was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency (which also consisted of Protestants and Jews, for the record) – Baby Face. All the others were made after 1933 and were, therefore, condemned by the National Legion of Decency. So this is false advertising. :B Enjoy your event. :B

  8. (song, heard on phone…gasp!)
    ♫ Sue likes to travel around, yeah, she’ll love you then she’ll put you down.
    So mister let me put you wise – Sue goes out with other guys…
    (Runaround Sue, to the uninitiated)

  9. Are they going to show my favorite condemned movie “Miracle on 34th Street”?
    ( from a professional Catholic, in both senses of the word)

  10. C
    There are a huge number of TCM viewers who are not Catholic or don’t share your views. If these films offend you because of when they are being shown, don’t watch them.

  11. Looking forward to La Dolce Vita and other risque foreign fare

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