HIGHER TYPE OF MOVIES SOUGHT City-Wide Committee Requested After Able Address On
A resolution requesting that the
president of Ossoli Circle invite the
different woman's clubs, the Parent
Teachers Association, the men's civic
organizations and clubs, the Board of
Commerce and the Superintendent of
Schools each to appoint two representatives to serve as a committee to
consider some definite action looking
toward better films was proposed by
Dr. J. M. Switzer of the University of
Tennessee and unanimously passed
at the mass meeting of men and women called at the Bijou Theatre yesterday afternoon to hear Mrs. Philip
Speed on the subject of "Selected
The resolution formed the climax
of a most interesting discussion in
which a number of the prominent club
men and womeen (sic.) of the city participated, as well as the two speakers present.
Prior to the address two very
charming vocal selections were rendered by Mr. Frank Kelley, accompanied by Mr. Frank Nelson. The solos given were "The Ninety-first
psalm," by Macdermid; and "The
Great Awakening," by Kramer.
Inventions of the Age
Mrs . L. C. French, president of Ossoli, who presided over the meeting,
introduced the speaker. In her opening Remarks she stated that in this
age of invention and discoveries, two
inventions stood out beyond all the
others. These were automobiles and
the motion picture." The latter, she
said, "was at first sneered at by the
intelligent, and later branded as an
amusement for women and children,
but today," she declared, "at an afternoon performance when the men
are supposed to be engrossed with
business, there are often four men
to one woman present."
"Everything ought to be criticized
in a friendly spirit," she continued.
'Criticism rightly given should lend
to progress, and for this reason the
people of Knoxville were called together to discuss the subject of motion pictures." In naming Mrs. Philip
Speed the speaker for the afternoon,
she said that Mrs. Speed had always
been particularly interested in better pictures, especially for the children, and that it was through her efforts that the Children's Theatre was
founded in New York before the war.
Mrs. Speed is visiting the different
cities of Tennessee under the auspices of the General Federation of Woman's clubs and the National Committee for Better Films.
Train Parents First
In taking the floor, Mrs. Speed said
that her work was of an educational
nature. Foolish parents could not be
prohibited from taking their children
to pictures they had no business to
see, but the parents would have to be
trained into a knowledge of the right
kind of films which the child should
A national censorship will answer
the purpose of giving out the films
suited to any particular group. The
censors must pass what is desired by
the majority of-people. But it does
publish a list of better plays which
should prove helpful to a local committee which is trying to educate the
people of the community.
Mrs. Speed said that there should
be three sets of pictures approved by
a committee for better films; those
suited for the child; the family group
pictures, suited for the adolescent
boys and girls; and the pictures only
suited to the adult mind.
She particularly urged the Saturday morning matinees at which a
carefully arranged children's program was given. One picture a week is
sufficient for any child, she said, and the parents should cooperate in sending their children to the Saturday
matinees in order that the theatre
manager should not lose by his efforts
to give the public what was demanded.
Study Child Pictures
Miss M. B. Kennedy of Nashville,
who followed Mrs. Speed, said that a
committee of child psychologists had
been appointed who were making a
study of the pictures best suited to
the child and the adolescent, and were
formulating standards to govern the
selection of such pictures.
In emphasizing the importance of
selected pictures she said that for a
child to see or hear a thing was to
render that thing possible in its life,
and therefore they should never be
permitted to see pictures which are
meant only for the adult mind.
At the close of Miss Kennedy's talk,
the meeting was thrown open for
discussion. Mrs. W. F. Roth, president of the Parent Teachers association of Moses School, urged that a
White List, rather than a Black List
of Pictures be published and endorsed.
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