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Do Classic Films Have More Freedom Then Modern Films


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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Well, not really, especially after '34.  And nobody worried about offending anyone, but not because not many people were that sensitive, but because NOBODY CARED if they offended anyone.  I mean, WHO, in the 1930' and '40's was going to complain about how women were objectified or black people were represented in a demeaning manner and get anyone who counted to listen to them? 

Sepiatone

You're right that they didn't care about offending minorities or women.  But the delicate sensitivities of  white male Christian culture were protected from offense.  The Hays Code was developed precisely to ensure that the "right" people were not offended enough by Hollywood's output to bring action against the industry in the form of government oversight or censorship.  

Sometimes, even that wasn't enough for Southerners in the Jim Crow era, as films had to be further edited lest they be forced to see things that might offend them (like the Dorothy Dandridge/Nicholas Brothers scenes in Sun Valley Serenade).

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

get anyone who counted to listen to them? 

That's the real point. It certainly wasn't that nobody cared. It's that the people who cared didn't have any power to stop it. And as txfilm fan just pointed out, Hollywood was afraid of offending racists in the South. The internet and social media have democratized that process. Now everyone's voice can be heard.

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11 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

You're right that they didn't care about offending minorities or women.  But the delicate sensitivities of  white male Christian culture were protected from offense.  The Hays Code was developed precisely to ensure that the "right" people were not offended enough by Hollywood's output to bring action against the industry in the form of government oversight or censorship.  

Sometimes, even that wasn't enough for Southerners in the Jim Crow era, as films had to be further edited lest they be forced to see things that might offend them (like the Dorothy Dandridge/Nicholas Brothers scenes in Sun Valley Serenade).

Thanks to Sepia and txflimfan for making the point I was trying to make,   but doing so with a lot more clarity.

Instead I appeared to have offended "the delicate sensitivities of  white male Christian culture" when I mentioned that the OP had a narrow,  in-their-own-bubble view of American culture today.     The two of you stated it much better;  back-in-the-day,   that group was the only one with enough power (both politically as well as culturally),  to control \ influence the narrative.

 All I can add is that it wasn't just the Hays Code (what I called the Production Code),  but also the impact of the HUAC.

 

 

 

 

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I'd say the one commendable thing in films in the last few years is that there are more mainstream films involving Black, Hispanic, and Asian characters in leading parts. It's long overdue. But at the same time, things aren't quite so open right now for an original film (read as non-sequel) to reach a mass audience. 

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original film ideas from a simple book or screen play are being buried for comics and sequels to other big films. Comic Books rule the cinema and Disney films remade from there own animated classics

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Just because a story originated from a comic, it doesn’t automatically make it inferior to one that came from a novel.

A good story is a good story whether it be a comic, video game, novel, short story, or even a board game. 

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Then how do you explain "Illustrated Classics"?  You know, turning classic literature into comic books?  But, just like every novel doesn't necessarily make a good movie, so it is with comic books.  There can, I'll admit, be several interesting characters in comics that could have an interesting movie written around them, but not every comic book character, or comic book deserves film adaptation.  And getting back to film freedom------

Depending(as has been pointed out)  on the period of movie making in determining how much freedom film makers have.  Like after a certain point, they were free enough to show married couples having only ONE bed, and full sized, in their bedroom instead of the twin bed set-up.  Well, there could have been couples who used that set-up, but it probably wasn't as common as it was in Hollywood movies. And recall also....

In 1950, the movie NO WAY OUT had black actor SIDNEY POITIER in the role of a doctor.  Something likely unheard of in movies just a couple of years earlier.  

And I don't think it was white Southerners Hollywood was ever afraid of offending.  It was probably the southern democrats in congress and the senate they wished not to offend.  NEVER for ONE MINUTE think ANY multi-million dollar movie studio really worries about offending just ordinary folks like you, me or anyone else on these boards or down the street. 

Sepiatone

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43 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

And I don't think it was white Southerners Hollywood was ever afraid of offending.  It was probably the southern democrats in congress and the senate they wished not to offend.  NEVER for ONE MINUTE think ANY multi-million dollar movie studio really worries about offending just ordinary folks like you, me or anyone else on these boards or down the street. 

Clearly the studios were afraid of offending ordinary folks.         E.g.   advertising and promotional material  used in certain states (yea,  mostly the deep south) was clearly designed to NOT show black actors.     E.g.  Gone With The Wind;     Hattie McDaniel wouldn't be shown as 'winner of an Oscar' when the film was re-released.   There are hundreds of other examples. 

You really don't understand American film history as it relates to race very well.   Looks like you need to be lectured by Ava Duvernay (ha ha).

PS:  as for No Way Out;    hundreds of theaters in the deep south refused to show the film.   Fox decided NOT to sue them since that would have just created larger problems for the studio. 

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46 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Then how do you explain "Illustrated Classics"?  You know, turning classic literature into comic books?  But, just like every novel doesn't necessarily make a good movie, so it is with comic books.  There can, I'll admit, be several interesting characters in comics that could have an interesting movie written around them, but not every comic book character, or comic book deserves film adaptation.  And getting back to film freedom------

Depending(as has been pointed out)  on the period of movie making in determining how much freedom film makers have.  Like after a certain point, they were free enough to show married couples having only ONE bed, and full sized, in their bedroom instead of the twin bed set-up.  Well, there could have been couples who used that set-up, but it probably wasn't as common as it was in Hollywood movies. And recall also....

In 1950, the movie NO WAY OUT had black actor SIDNEY POITIER in the role of a doctor.  Something likely unheard of in movies just a couple of years earlier.  

And I don't think it was white Southerners Hollywood was ever afraid of offending.  It was probably the southern democrats in congress and the senate they wished not to offend.  NEVER for ONE MINUTE think ANY multi-million dollar movie studio really worries about offending just ordinary folks like you, me or anyone else on these boards or down the street. 

Sepiatone

Aren't the Great Illustrated Classics just the novel with pictures? I don't recall them being turned into comics.

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One example of what the OP was talking about:

In the Farrelly Bros' The Three Stooges (2012) pastiche, the Farrellys--who, only fifteen years before were selling themselves as the troublemaking shockster-kings of outrageously un-PC comedy with "There's Something About Mary"--had to add a PSA disclaimer scene on the end, telling kids that the original Moe never really poked Larry and Curly in the eyes, they just poked each other's eyebrows, and sound FX did the rest...So don't do this at home, kids!  (And always be careful with your zipper, when dressing!)

My first thought reading the headline was:  Why do we love 70's and 80's movies so much?  Because back then, movies that didn't cost as much to make and had to play theaters had the freedom to sell themselves to only one audience that knew what they were paying for, like teen musicals, horror or kids' movies, and didn't have corporate boardrooms worrying about inserting the Black character, the Chinese overseas-boxoffice character or the Empowered Female Kickass character, to be all things to all paying audiences, and trying to plant hints to establish a running franchise.

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JAMES:

Just as in this case you can't see how multi-million dollar industries( and the studios in Hollywood back then WERE industries)  Kow-tow to political arm twisting(as congress, we later learned, had much "influence" on how Hollywood operated) due to any entity,like congress and the senate, which can affect their profits and existence could bear weight on how they did business.  And I fully understand American film history as it relates to "race".  And that some people, even African-Americans, look at it through a tunnel vision scope.  Ava would likely go on about black people's images in early movies( butlers,maids and mammies) and the blackface appearance by white movie stars, but as far as "race" goes in movie history, will she bother to mention, say....

JEWISH or SWEDISH actors playing Asians?( Sidney Toler and Warner Oland as Charlie Chan) or Irishmen and Polish Jews playing Mexicans( Wallace Beery as Poncho Villa and Paul Muni as Juarez and Eli Wallach as the Mexican bandito in Magnificent Seven)?  You know, although I'd kid about it, my wife said Mexicans viewed  Wallach playing a Mexican bandit the same as African-Americans view any white guy performing in blackface. 

Sepiatone

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12 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Aren't the Great Illustrated Classics just the novel with pictures? I don't recall them being turned into comics.

But they were sold in comic book form and at comic book prices.   And my apologies, I transposed the name of the series.  They were actually named---

Sepiatone

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16 minutes ago, EricJ said:

One example of what the OP was talking about:

In the Farrelly Bros' The Three Stooges (2012) pastiche, the Farrellys--who, only fifteen years before were selling themselves as the troublemaking shockster-kings of outrageously un-PC comedy with "There's Something About Mary"--had to add a PSA disclaimer scene on the end, telling kids that the original Moe never really poked Larry and Curly in the eyes, they just poked each other's eyebrows, and sound FX did the rest...So don't do this at home, kids!  (And always be careful with your zipper, when dressing!)

My first thought reading the headline was:  Why do we love 70's and 80's movies so much?  Because back then, movies that didn't cost as much to make and had to play theaters had the freedom to sell themselves to only one audience that knew what they were paying for, like teen musicals, horror or kids' movies, and didn't have corporate boardrooms worrying about inserting the Black character, the Chinese overseas-boxoffice character or the Empowered Female Kickass character, to be all things to all paying audiences, and trying to plant hints to establish a running franchise.

I don't love '70s and '80s movies for that reason. 

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1 hour ago, sewhite2000 said:

I don't love '70s and '80s movies for that reason. 

Try watching the 00's/10's remakes of Footloose, Fame, Total Recall and Rollerball, and get back to me.

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Just as in this case you can't see how multi-million dollar industries( and the studios in Hollywood back then WERE industries)  Kow-tow to political arm twisting(as congress, we later learned, had much "influence" on how Hollywood operated) due to any entity,like congress and the senate, which can affect their profits and existence could bear weight on how they did business.

There you go again making bogus assumptions;   I understand how Hollywood Kow-tow to political arm twisting.  E.g. I'm the one that mentioned the Production Code and HUAC.    Please show me where I say otherwise?      

It was you,  and only you,  that made this incorrect,  based on the facts,   comment: And I don't think it was white Southerners Hollywood was ever afraid of offending. 

Hollywood didn't change those posters and ads etc..  because of political pressure but to appease  white Southerners;  To help ensure those folks purchased tickets!

PS:  these two points can coexist.  I.e. they are NOT mutually exclusive. 

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I think I might have made this thread in the wrong context of what I meant. Is it easier to make a classic movie per say lets say in the 1980s then it is today. I think today there are too many organizations that boycott this or that. Take Mel Gibsons well drunk statements. Would his career been over in John Wayne  s day. I personally think what is wrong with movies more today is media tries tear down an actor more.

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4 hours ago, EricJ said:

Try watching the 00's/10's remakes of Footloose, Fame, Total Recall and Rollerball, and get back to me.

I don't think I've seen any of those, but I wouldn't dislike them because they made the casts more multicultural. I might dislike them because I'm not a big fan of remakes in general.

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17 minutes ago, Yoda1978 said:

I think I might have made this thread in the wrong context of what I meant. Is it easier to make a classic movie per say lets say in the 1980s then it is today. I think today there are too many organizations that boycott this or that. Take Mel Gibsons well drunk statements. Would his career been over in John Wayne  s day. I personally think what is wrong with movies more today is media tries tear down an actor more.

Probably not, but I think that speaks to social progress and not something we should all forlorn about. They both made idiotic, racist comments, but Wayne was in a time where you could do it and get away with it and Gibson wasn't. That doesn't mean we should be sad it isn't the way it was in Wayne's time anymore.

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Yes but my Gibson point is does his career fall without the modern celebrity witch hunt or if he never makes passion of the christ beforehand. I also think other people have said and  done far worse things and were forgiven. but thats a whole different topic.

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Some sort of public contrition seems to be helpful in these cases. I don't really ever recall any from Gibson.

I personally wouldn't call it a witch hunt. At some point you have to be responsible for your own actions, right? The guy made a point of showing Satan standing right in the middle of the Jews in his movie, and then when he got arrested for drunk driving, he let loose with some more anti-Semitic ramblings. 

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3 hours ago, Yoda1978 said:

I think I might have made this thread in the wrong context of what I meant. Is it easier to make a classic movie per say lets say in the 1980s then it is today. I think today there are too many organizations that boycott this or that. Take Mel Gibsons well drunk statements. Would his career been over in John Wayne  s day. I personally think what is wrong with movies more today is media tries tear down an actor more.

Any actor that had made such negative comments about white Christians,  back in the "John Wayne's day",   would have their career tarnished if not over.    This point has been made to you many times but you just keep ignoring it (or just not willing to accept it?).       Back in the day,  if an actor was a black man and dated a white women,  or  they had sex outside of marriage,  or a gay man that came-out, etc...,   their career was either diminished or over.      I can provided actual examples of actors \ directors where this happened if one is interested. 

Therefore the major difference from today to 'back then' is who was attacked,  or who a person was,   that caused  one to get punished by public opinion and \ or the media.

Granted, with social media it is much more difficult for celebrities to 'hide' from their comments and this has lead to the cancel-culture.   Back-in-the-day,  studios had entire departments where their only job was to shield their celebrities from being exposed.      See the movie L.A.  Confidential for a Hollywood movie that focuses on this.

Again,  your overall point about a 'modern witch hunt' (and NO such witch hunts 'back then') is bogus.    It is just NOT true.     There have always been such 'witch hunts';  AGAIN, the difference is is in how society defines a 'witch'.

 

 

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Not really interested in the whole racist debate. Which you seem like to talk about or use the word assuming people think as whatever person your talking to does. You can have your own opinion but people been saying lots of things for decades if was drunk, A person drunk can say lots of things. A drunk person is neither honest nor a liar. They take on whatever personality they take when drunk. be that a lovable drunk or mean.

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20 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

There you go again making bogus assumptions;   I understand how Hollywood Kow-tow to political arm twisting.  E.g. I'm the one that mentioned the Production Code and HUAC.    Please show me where I say otherwise?      

It was you,  and only you,  that made this incorrect,  based on the facts,   comment: And I don't think it was white Southerners Hollywood was ever afraid of offending. 

Hollywood didn't change those posters and ads etc..  because of political pressure but to appease  white Southerners;  To help ensure those folks purchased tickets!

PS:  these two points can coexist.  I.e. they are NOT mutually exclusive. 

Well Mr. Reagan, 

 I STILL don't think it was Hollywood being afraid of offending white Southerners per se, But instead, their white Southern representatives in the house.  ;) But, whatever the reason given, I doubt there was much sincerity behind it. (the "Mr. Reagan" thing being a jab at your, "There you go again" opening.  :D )

Sepiatone

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