Motion Picture Association Recommends Changing ”oliver Twist” to Remove Objections

The Motion Picture Association of America, the film industry’s board of review, today recommended the re-examination of the British made film ”Oliver Twist” with a view to having deletions and changes made which would remove objections to the firm voiced by many Jewish and other groups, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.

The MPA, which in November, 1948, denied the film its seal of approval–an action tantamount to banning the movie–yesterday heard an appeal by Eagle-Lion Films, American distributing agent for the British producer, that it change its original decision. After a lengthy session today, the MPA board of directors suggested that the film be sent to Joseph I. Breen, administrator of the industry’s production code, who was responsible for the original ban, with the recommendation that he re-examine it to determine the possibility of deleting or changing the film to eliminate objectionable material. Eagle-Lion representatives have expressed agreement with this procedure.

In this country the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and other Jewish groups protested the scheduled showing of the film on the grounds that one of its central characters, Fagin, was portrayed in an anti-Semitic manner and would inspire anti-Jewish sentiment. In the British zone of Germany and other places where the film was shown public demonstrations were held in protest. Recently, several groups in this country, including the New York Chapter of the American Council for Judaism, have called for lifting of the ban on ”Oliver Twist” on the grounds that the prohibition violates the Bill of Rights.

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