God's Little Acre  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

God's Little Acre is a 1933 novel by Erskine Caldwell, which was filmed in 1958 by director Anthony Mann and lensed in black and white by master cameraman Ernie Haller [1]. The novel was so controversial that a literary board in New York attempted to censor it, leading to the author's being arrested and tried for obscenity. Exonerated after a jury trial, the author counter-sued the literary society for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

No less controversial was the film some twenty five years later, though this time there was no prosecution for obscenity. Though both book and film were laced throughout with racy innuendo calling into question the issue of marital fidelity, it was the film adaptation that may have been the more alarming, inasmuch as it portrayed a popular uprising, or Marxist insurrection, in the southern United States by millworkers laid off from work, but wishing to appropriate for themselves the means of production, this being their livelihood. Philip Yordan took credit for the screenplay, though it was actually written by Ben Maddow. Since Maddow was blacklisted for suspected Communist activities during the 1950s Red Scare, working without credit was the only way he could successfully submit screenplays.

When first released, audiences under eighteen years of age were prohibited from viewing what were perceived to be numerous sexy scenes throughout, though in recent decades the film's scandalous reputation has diminished. Though ultimately a box office failure upon first release, the film has frequently been aired on television. Due to a lapse in copyright after the bankruptcy of United Artists in the mid-1980s, the film is now in the public domain.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "God's Little Acre" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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