[Pope's view of television in Italy]

Monday, January 11, 1954

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

Seldes apologizes for an absence over the holidays. Arts in the news. A new television network for movies in Italy. Psychological difference among the audience between watching movies at home and watching them in a theater.

Immorality of motion pictures. Revision of the film code. Samuel Goldwyn. "The Moon is Blue" was run without approval. Without the code, exhibitors can't operate practically due to boycotts. The code should conform to the changes in society.

A rule that, if a woman is in bed, a man may sit beside her bet, but only with both feet on the floor.

Goldwyn says the principles of the code are rooted in the Ten Commandments, but this is doubtful.

Lubtisch touch. Ways that clever people can outsmart the code.

What is love? Children object to lovemaking in westerns. Do adults really object?

A code of good taste to prevent vulgarities necessary for some areas in broadcasting from penetrating fields where they're not required.

Reads from an Edmund Wilson book.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71507
Municipal archives id: LT3085


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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