[Censorship in films]

Sunday, March 18, 1956

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes celebrates the defeat of Board of Censors in Pennsylvania.
He tells a story about his younger days when he was press agent for a "dirty film" which bordered on being lewd. The film did not pass the board of censors. He also discusses censored books being barred from sale in Michigan.
Seldes speaks of the dangers of this type of censorship. He speaks of late night advertisers who present items for sale and deliver a lesser good. Seldes is concerned about the censorship of any aspect of governmental censorship.

Seldes goes on to discuss films being re-shown on television, he questions the future of the corner picture house. He also expresses concern for the continued quality of films.

Finally he discusses the prospect of faked prize fights.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 70588
Municipal archives id: LT7537

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.


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