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Behind Closed Doors: The Dark Legacy of the Johns Committee (2000)

| Short, Documentary
This short documentary covers the Johns Committee, started by Florida State Senator Charley Johns to weed out Communists and homosexuals. Florida State University and the University of ... See full summary »

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Mark Sexton
Hank Conner ...
Sigmund Diettrich (voice)
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This short documentary covers the Johns Committee, started by Florida State Senator Charley Johns to weed out Communists and homosexuals. Florida State University and the University of South Florida did not cooperate fully with the investigations, but the University of Florida, under the direction of J. Wayne Reitz, did. Several prominent gay men and lesbians were left unaffected by the investigations, while others had their careers left in shambles. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Documentary

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How can a student film be this good?
30 May 2000 | by (Gainesville, Florida) – See all my reviews

At just under a half hour, Behind Closed Doors is one of the first films I've seen that can actually affect an audience emotionally in an extremely short time. Add to that the fact that it's a documentary (admittedly, not my favorite genre), and you have a truly surprising experience.

Behind Closed Doors was produced by Allyson Beutke and Scott Litvak as a final project for the University of Florida's School of Journalism. To be honest, I'd never seen a student film I actually admired---this was the first.

This documentary deals with an experience frightening to many students and faculty members of the University of Florida early in the Cold War era. Surprisingly, this is the first I (and much of the rest of the audience) heard about the Johns Committee. I assume it won't be the last.


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