NEW YORK (Jan. 7)
A resolution opposing the ban on exhibiting the British made film “Oliver Twist” in the United States was adopted by the directors of the National Board of Review after they viewed a private screening of the film last week, it was reported here.
The film has been withheld from distribution in the United States since 1948 after protests by the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups on grounds that the character of one of the central figures is anti-Semitic. In the resolution opposing the attitude of the Jewish groups the National Board of Review said:
“This film version of one of the great classes of social protest should not be kept from the public by open or covert actions of intimidation boycott or arbitrary censorship. Those who espouse such repression do so, they assert to prevent group antagonism. In our opinion such methods are not the American way to achieve these ends.”
The American Council for Judaism also issued a statement opposing the ban on the film. “No Jew or group of Jews can speak for or represent the Jews of America,” the New York chapter of the Council emphasized in the statement. It stressed that the Bill of Rights gives every citizen the right of freedom of expression and this includes the right of the public to see, hear and form its own judgment.