Hollywood: The Big Leer

When the Hays office still reigned as Hollywood's moral arbiter, a fearless film producer optioned Radclyffe Hall's notorious bestseller, The Well of Loneliness. For weeks, his writers wrestled with the story, but finally admitted defeat. "What's the trouble?" demanded the producer. "The heroine's a Lesbian," stammered the writers. "So change it," roared the producer. "Make her an American."

In the ensuing years, Hollywood's attitude toward sex, natural and otherwise, has undergone a radical change. A case in point is Director William Wyler's forthcoming remake of Lillian Hellman's play, The Children's Hour,...

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