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Showman of the ScreenJoseph E. Levine and His Revolutions in Film Promotion$
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A. T. McKenna

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168715

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168715.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Hollywood Undermined

Hollywood Undermined

(p.111) 8 Hollywood Undermined
Showman of the Screen

A. T. McKenna

University Press of Kentucky

Many critics and commentators felt that America’s censorship bodies had been too lenient with The Carpetbaggers, and voices of protest led to a clampdown on what was deemed cinematic smut—notably Levine’s production of a biopic of Jean Harlow. Interventions from censors and Levine’s own uncharacteristic keenness to avoid controversy led to Harlow being perhaps the most compromised film of his career. Critics who had criticized The Carpetbaggers for being in bad taste now criticized Harlow for not being sexy enough. The chapter also explores Levine’s war of words with Bill Sargent, who was producing his own Harlow biopic, which appeared as an ugly spat in the pages of the trade press. And it examines critics’ accusations that Joe was undermining Hollywood and its institutions with his films’ insinuations.

Keywords:   censorship, Motion Picture Association of America, Production Code, biopic, Hollywood, Paramount, independent production, Harlow, Carroll Baker, Bill Sargent

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