Archives For Catholic Legion of Decency

A nun walks into a movie theater… It’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s the beginning of an intriguing story and a remarkable bit of programming on Turner Classic Movies.

Every Thursday night March, ┬áSister Rose Pacatte is hosting a line up of movies once condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency. Twenty seven films in all with intros from Pacatte — a member of the Daughters of St. Paul and the founding director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies (Culver City, CA). Pacatte is a film fan and critic who teaches courses of media literacy from her home base in Culver City and as guest lecturer on the road.

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Barbara Stanwyck (r) and Theresa Harris in BABY FACE, a “pre code” film condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency in 1933

 

Turner Classic Movies is calling the series CONDEMNED and shining light on some of the forgotten history of the Catholic Legion of Decency. The Legion started around the time the Hays Office opened and continued to issue its own ratings through the 1970s. The strongest rating it gave was a “C” — for condemned. Enter TCM and Sister Rose.

Some of the films were campy then and just plain creaky now. Some of the films were breakthrough works of art then that have stood the test of time. BLACK NARCISSUS (1947) is a favorite of mine that’s on the list. You may have missed the first round (March 3) but you still have time to set your DVR for the rest of the festival.

Here’s the line up and info from TCM.

Here’s a great interview with Sister Rose on Flavorwire.

Here’s a blurb and handy list from L.A. Magazine’s Ask Chris.

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