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Reforming Hollywood How American Protestants Fought for Freedom at the Movies

ISBN-10: 0195387848

ISBN-13: 9780195387841

Edition: 2012

Authors: William D. Romanowski

List price: $36.95
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Hollywood and Christianity often seem to be at war. Indeed, there is a long list of movies that have attracted religious condemnation, fromGone with the Windwith its notorious "damn," toThe Life of BrianandThe Last Temptation of Christ. But the reality, writes William Romanowski, has been far more complicated--and remarkable.InReforming Hollywood, Romanowski, a leading historian of popular culture, explores the long and varied efforts of Protestants to influence the film industry. He shows how a broad spectrum of religious forces have played a role in Hollywood, from Presbyterians and Episcopalians to fundamentalists and evangelicals. Drawing on personal interviews and previously untouched sources, he describes how mainline church leaders lobbied filmmakers to promote the nation's moral health and, perhaps surprisingly, how they have by and large opposed government censorship, preferring instead self-regulation by both the industry and individual conscience. "It is this human choice," noted one Protestant leader, "that is the basis of our religion." Tensions with Catholics, too, have loomed large--many Protestant clergy feared the influence of the Legion of Decency more than Hollywood's corrupting power. Romanowski shows that the rise of the evangelical movement in the 1970s radically altered the picture, in contradictory ways. Even as born-again clergy denounced "Hollywood elites," major studios noted the emergence of a lucrative evangelical market. 20th Century-Fox formed FoxFaith to go after the "Passion dollar," and Disney took on evangelical Philip Anschutz as a partner to bringThe Chronicles of Narniato the big screen.William Romanowski is an award-winning commentator on the intersection of religion and popular culture.Reforming Hollywoodis his most revealing, provocative, and groundbreaking work on this vital area of American society.
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Book details

List price: $36.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/26/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.30" wide x 6.50" long x 1.20" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

William D. Romanowski is assistant professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in American Culture at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Reforming the Movies: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
The Federal Council of Churches Enters the Frame
Putting a Presbyterian in Charge of Hollywood
On the Trail of the Serpent: Will Hays and the Protestant Crusade
Protestants and Hollywood at the Crossroads
The Worst That Could Happen: A Catholic Legion of "Decency"
One Foot in Hollywood: The Protestant Film Commission
Movie Consulting-Protestant Style
High Noon in the Broadcasting and Film Commission
And the Winner Is: The Protestant Film Awards
No Longer a Dirty Word: This Film Will Now Be Rated
A Changing of the Guard
The Curious Case of Evangelicals
The Cast
Abbreviations Used in Notes