On the Wikipedia page for "Nightmare Alley" (1947) it says

....the film was not a financial success upon its original release, due in part to protests against some of the scandalous content

I did not think the content seemed too scandalous. What are they talking about? What, specifically, were these "protests"? Protests about what? The guy drinks and kisses the lead actress a few times. What is so scandalous about that?

  • Too much ankle probably. Public opinion on what's decent has changed drastically in 80 years. – cde Apr 17 '16 at 3:25
  • I'm struggling to find much (if any) evidence of organised protests. If anything, its failure as a film was that it wasn't smutty enough, described by multiple reviewers as "much censored" – user7812 Apr 17 '16 at 10:24

This is the 1940s and in this movie we have unmarried sex with a young woman and another woman admitting she sleeps around. The MC sleeps with both these women, off screen. There is a carnival geek eating live chickens. There is psychotherapy at a time many considered this itself a form of quackery. The whole premise based on an unscrupulous manipulator ripping people off with elements of mysticism.

I believe the writer of the wiki article uses the term protest in a lighter sense of social commentary rather than placards and marching. In the articles supplied references in wiki this reprinted review from 1947 is as close as you get to scathing others being rather positive.

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  • Could you possibly edit your answer down to the roughly one paragraph of content that actually answers the question? That would cut out all the irrelevant noise that just reads like a film review. – Anthony Grist Apr 17 '16 at 14:11
  • Sure, there we go. – Yetisasquatch Alienbeliever Apr 17 '16 at 15:07

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