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“Tin Drum” obscenity battle cost Oklahoma City hundreds of thousands of dollars

Oklahoma City faced lawsuits after police seized copies of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Tin Drum,” in the 1990s.
by William Crum Modified: December 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm •  Published: December 2, 2013

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Obscenity battle cost OKC plenty

In the 1990s, a dust-up over obscenity proved costly to Oklahoma City taxpayers.

A group called Oklahomans for Children and Families complained the movie “The Tin Drum” was obscene.

About a small boy's response to the rise of the Nazis before World War II, the film won the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 1979.

After a district judge said “The Tin Drum” was pornographic, Oklahoma City police seized videotapes of the film in June 1997.

A federal judge later ruled rounding up copies of the film was unconstitutional.

Settling legal challenges to the seizures eventually cost the city more than $700,000.

William Crum, Staff Writer

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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