Scarlet Street : Was this film banned in New York?

Was this film banned in New York?

Or is it just an error on Wikipedia? I skimmed the book referred to there and found no reference to the film. Does anyone know if it was banned, and if so, for what specifically?

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Re: Was this film banned in New York?

Well--I guess this shows how often I check my IMDB account. No, I wouldn't trust wikipedia either, and didn't, but later I found an article in Cinema Journal from 1995 called "A Tale of Three Cities: the Banning of Scarlet Street," by Matthew Bernstein, which was about how the movie was banned in New York, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. Authorities apparently found its content "immoral." In case anyone was interested.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

thanks for the update. I find it very interesting.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

Thanks. No problem.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

I'm not enough of an historian to argue, and have no basis to express an opinion here. However, it seems strange that a film would be banned in a particular city, especially New York, from where much of Hollywood's money came, and where the studios had offices and lawyers.

If it was banned, who was the body doing the banning, and what were their powers? What if a theater DID show the films?

These are questions that need to be answered before the matter is closed.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

According to TCMs Robert Osbourne, NYC, of all places, was the first place to ban the film.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

right he said it was mostly due to the icepick scene and they made some edits.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

If I recall correctly - from the commentary on the Kino release - it was initially banned by New York State (not NYC) censors, but after studio negotiations, it was released in NY.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

Since stating my reservations I checked it myself, and you're right. It seems that the NY State censorship board didn't have much authority.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

I've seen this film several times and last night again on TCM. I was really surprised to learn from the commentator that the film had been banned ANYPLACE. I was young when I first saw it, and don't remember it being any more scandalous than anything else I had seen. But he said it had been banned in NYC, and several other cities.

Re: Was this film banned in New York?

One of the functions of the Production Code Administration (aka the the Hayes Office, the Breen Office) was to enforce guidelines that would make films acceptable to the dozens of state and local censorship boards around the country.

However, a PCA seal didn't guarantee smooth sailing. State and local censors, with their own moral and ethical standards, issued outright bans or ordered scenes and lines cut. Deleted scenes were left lying on the floor to be tossed in the trash. This practice cost the studios a great deal of money. Once the movies finished their run, theaters shipped the butchered films back to the studios, which had to make new prints to replace the ones that were censored and thereby rendered unrentable.


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