Puplic Concern Over Morals of the Movies
The affair of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini, following by only a few months the premarital vagabonding of Rita Hayworth with Aly Khan and the jailing of actor Robert Mitchum on narcotic charges, has provoked demands that the motion picture industry either clean house voluntarily or be subjected to federal regulation. The content of film dramas is governed by a self-imposed production code, but motion picture companies profess reluctance to interfere with the private lives of screen personalities by requiring conformance to a code of personal behavior. Critics of the industry express concern over the influence on public morals of scan-dais involving movie stars and the exploitation of those scandals to bring business to the box office.
Current Criticism of Morals of the Movies
Leadership in current attacks on morals of the movies has been taken by Sen. Johnson (D., Col.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, He has voiced particular outrage over the extravagant publicity which accompanied the premiere of Stromboli on Feb. 15, two weeks after the birth in Rome of the baby fathered by Rossellini. In a speech on the Senate floor, Mar. 14, Johnson raised the question:
Now that the stupid film about a pregnant woman and a volcano has exploited America with the usual finesse, to the mutual delight of RKO and the debased Rossellini, are we merely to yawn wearily, greatly relieved that this hideous thing is finished, and then forget it? I hope not. A way must be found to protect the people in the future against that kind of gyp.