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Freedom of the ScreenLegal Challenges to State Film Censorship, 1915-1981$
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Laura Wittern-Keller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124513

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124513.001.0001

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The Seventh Case in Seven Years, 1957–1959

The Seventh Case in Seven Years, 1957–1959

(p.197) 9 The Seventh Case in Seven Years, 1957–1959
Freedom of the Screen

Laura Wittern-Keller

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the case of Lady Chatterley's Lover, a French film version of D.H. Lawrence's novel of the same name. This case was presented in the mid-1950s, when tolerance of mature-themed films was slowly evolving and the incipient backlash against censorship restrictions was present. Ephraim London took the case to the New York State Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, all the while arguing that the film was based on the play, and not the novel itself. This case presented the U.S. Supreme Court with the full range of arguments for and against state film censorship, and it would allow the justices to rule decisively about the evils, if any, that the state could still ban from theater screens.

Keywords:   Lady Chatterley's Lover, mature-themed films, censorship restrictions, Ephraim London, arguments, film censorship, New York, Supreme Court

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