Privacy: Then & Now

Archival studio portrait: headshot of a balding, professorial-looking man
with wire-rimmed glasses and a suit sitting sideways, looking very serious A fancy wrought iron archway gate says Smith College 1875 Black and white magazine cover circa 1950s shows a clean-shaven,
athletically built, shirtless young man, posing with his hands on his
hips, a checkerboard background behind him
In the 1950s in America, it was more dangerous to be discovered as a homosexual than it was to be discovered as a Communist.
– Barry Werth, author, The Scarlet Professor

In 1960, three Smith College professors were charged with possessing and dispersing obscene literature, and convicted as felons. In the end, brilliant careers were destroyed and young lives ruined. 

This story, and that of the devastating persecution that haunted these men, brings awareness to the present-day clash between an individual's right to privacy and concerns for national security.
The Film | Filmmaker Bios | Filmmaker Q&A | Learn More | Talkback | Site Credits

Tell a Friend
IL Home Home | Explore Films | TV Schedule | Video | Community Cinema | Classroom | Blog | AboutContact Us Get the Newsletter
Pressroom     © Independent Television Service (ITVS). All rights reserved. | PBS Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Credits

presented by ITVS   funded by The Corporation For Public Broadcasting Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people

with additional support from Macarthur Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Get The Video Talkback Learn More Filmmaker Q&A Filmmaker Bios The Film