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Sanitizing Movies is Illegal

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Tagged As: Legal, Movies, and Society

Titanic, America's top grossing film of all time with more than $600 million was found unsuitable by many viewers for ownership. Why? A single scene featuring Kate Winslet posing nude rankled the tastes of conservative movie-goers. To make popular movies available, a new industry emerged in Utah where questionable scenes and language were scrubbed by companies like CleanFilms, leaving behind an edited, but 'clean' edition of the film. This practice was largely contested by sixteen major directors, including Spielberg, Redford and Scorsese who claim artistic expression is violated by the release of modified forms of their work. After a three year legal battle, the directors won the case and movie sanitizing firms were ordered to cease operations and turn over their inventory. Alternative movies are still available through on-the-fly editing technology that will remain legal thanks to the Family Movie Act signed into law by President Bush. Is this a case of the movie industry trying to retain maximum profits or are Americans simply too prudish?

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