Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 17 No. 1 (2023): New Lenses on Old Hollywood

Poison: Flannery O'Connor's Habit of Moviegoing

June 4, 2023


The American novelist and short story writer Flannery O’Connor felt divinely chosen in her vocation from an early age. However, like more than sixty percent of the American population in the 1940s, she had a moviegoing habit that lured her away from practicing her art. With the recent release of archival materials, we are able to see how frequently O’Connor wrestles with addiction to film, as well as how little effect her performative dislike of cinema had. In the end, cinema—Gone With the Wind, Mighty Joe Young, Till the End of Time—informs her fiction, no matter how strong her protests that movies are low and anti-art.