Anyone coming to the subject for the first time might be forgiven for concluding that, at least in the United States, the silent movie era consisted of an unbroken series of moral panics over motion pictures’ supposedly harmful effects on audiences, communities, and the nation. Indeed, the story of moral panics’ influence on American cinema reaches all the way back to the prehistory of the medium. If only because they were so frequent, studying moral panics over early movies can provide significant insight into the construction and evolution of moral panics in general. Moreover, because their impact was often decisive, researching such episodes can add sizably to existing knowledge about social, cultural, and state influences on the content of early motion pictures and the structure of the emerging film industry.