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Down with French vaudevilles! The Catholic film movement's resistance and boycott of French cinema in the 1930s

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At the end of the 1920s and in the 1930s, a strong Catholic film movement emerged in (Western) Europe, mainly targeting morally dangerous films. Besides Hollywood films many popular French pictures featured in this black list. Especially after the introduction of the severe production codes in 1934 in the United States, many French vaudevilles were attacked and boycotted. This article revisits this (under-researched) key period in the history of the European Catholic film action, focusing mainly upon the Belgian case. Referring to many now forgotten popular French films, the article conceptualizes the public resistance and boycott of these films from moral or media panic theories.

Keywords: European Catholic film movement; French vaudeville film 1930s; Roman Church censorship

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/sfci.6.1.29_2

Affiliations: Ghent University.

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Studies in French Cinema is the only journal published in English devoted exclusively to French cinema, providing scholars, teachers and students from around the world with a consistent quality of academic investigation across the full breadth of the subject. Contributors scrutinise the cultural context of various works and the diverse stylistic approaches that infuse the visual fabric of this genre.
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