Censorship Of The United States

1470 Words6 Pages
Jeffrey Corpstein
English 270
Research paper

This paper will cover censorship in film with its main focus in the United States. It will cover the progress of film censorship and how it has varied throughout the country as well as state to state. The reader will discover how film censorship has changed with society and can be a resemblance of society at a certain point in time. Important cases and lawsuits will be covered as well, enabling the reader to understand why and how certain laws were created and questioned.
The first acknowledgment of regulating film arrived in 1896 after Thomas Edison’s landmark film, The Kiss. Critics of this film saw it as a threat to morality, thus raising questions on what should or should not be shown to the public. Shortly after concern over The Kiss, the first statute in movie censorship was enacted. The State of Maine implemented the statute in order to prevent the exhibition prizefight of the 1897 heavyweight championship between James Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons. This opened the door for other organizations and states to regulate on their own terms. Although most scholars regard the 1907 ordinance of the City of Chicago as the first act of censorship in the United States, but as state above, the prevention of prizefighting in Maine is now regarded as the first act of censorship. Nevertheless, the 1907 ordinance of the City of Chicago was groundbreaking for film censorship. This ordinance made it illegal to show any
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