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Freedom to OffendHow New York Remade Movie Culture$
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Raymond J. Haberski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124292

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124292.001.0001

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Baby Doll and Commonweal Criticism

Baby Doll and Commonweal Criticism

(p.61) 3 Baby Doll and Commonweal Criticism
Freedom to Offend


University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the controversies surrounding the Baby Doll movie and billboard. The billboard was located a short walk from where the most powerful Catholic outside Rome could be found, Francis Cardinal Spellman, and showed movie starlet Carroll Baker wearing a sexy outfit and posing in an oversized crib while sucking her thumb. Spellman issued a condemning speech from the cathedral pulpit, while the editors and writers of the journal Commonweal published an article addressing a public that had grown tired of censors and restrictions. The latter lead to the formation of a Catholic critic and showed the possibility of judging culture without moralizing it.

Keywords:   controversies, Baby Doll, Francis Cardinal Spellman, Carroll Baker, Commonweal, Catholic critic

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