Adapting Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly, Last Summer" for the screen, he slyly defied both the Production Code and the Catholic Church, showing other writers they didn't have to bowdlerize their work. From his earliest novels to his midcentury screenplays to his recent essays, the late Gore Vidal crusaded fiercely against religious censorship of popular culture. Hollywood owes him a debt, even if at the time of his most energetic battling, against the Production Code that held sway over American movie content from 1934 to 1968, his moral stance made some colleagues uncomfortable. His refusal to bowdlerize material — Tennessee Williams’ play Suddenly, Last Summer, for example — underscored the cravenness of other directors and screenwriters who willingly destroyed adapted material.
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