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Sometimes I miss the production code


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Does anyone else occasionally feel that way? I understand the issue of censorship but so many movies out today just are filled with sex and violence which doesn't really serve the story or purposes of the characters...It can be done properly but so often it's solely to grow ticket sales...I can watch a film made during that time period and get an emotional reaction that can't be attributed to excess violence...

 

EDIT:

Please see my other posts on this thread to better understand my position

 

Edited by: Don'tCallMeSugar on Mar 2, 2011 7:58 PM

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You know what? There are many movies produced today that have no more "sex and violence" than pre-1960 films. This is such a chestnut, the complaint that current movies are nothing but explosions, sex, and violence ( I'm tempted to make a joke about those first two words, but best to leave it.)

 

This ever-recurring lament seems to be based on an undue concentration on the above type of film, while almost willfully ignoring all the movies that present evidence to the contrary. Yeah, yeah, there are too many sex 'n violence 'n cussing movies, I'm not denying they exist. But there are a lot of films that have none or very little of these offending features.

 

There is wheat out there, you just have to separate it from the chaff.

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> {quote:title=Don'tCallMeSugar wrote:}{quote}

> Does anyone else occasionally feel that way? I understand the issue of censorship but so many movies out today just are filled with sex and violence which doesn't really serve the story or purposes of the characters...It can be done properly but so often it's solely to grow ticket sales...I can watch a film made during that time period and get an emotional reaction that can't be attributed to excess violence...

 

 

I agree, and a lot of people agree with you. That's one of the reasons we like to watch old movies.

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I am much more concerned with the subtle but ubiquitous influence of corporate America on what we see and hear in the arts today. I can choose not to look or hear something by simply turning it off or not going but I can't do anything about the subtle changes that Disney, Viacom etc impose on our experience of film and other media just because they have the power to do so.

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I agree with you. I don't mind sex or violence when there's a REASON for it and it serves the story, but when they include it just because they CAN show it, and for no other reason...I don't care for it much. Same thing applies to practically every other tv show these days....the sex and violence. The nudity is there because they CAN show it. Etc....

 

Like the British tv series SKINS which I saw recently...I watched the first four series (there's a new one which has started recently...and no, I don't mean the lambasted U.S. "remake" on MTV), but I hope the newest season from the U.K. holds up, because I really enjoyed the firs two seasons, and then I got to the cast change and the 3rd and 4th seasons....and it seemed like ALL these kids were doing was drugs, having sex, swearing with the F-bomb (not that I don't use it myself now and then) every other sentence, and constantly taking their clothes off....none of which seemed to really help the storyline at all. Seriously....it's as if that's all the scripts were: Sex, drugs, and swearing. It was becoming a tad boring and almost a turn-off to watch.

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There has been a trend recently in making more PG-13 movies than R. The problem you are addressing is sort of taking care of itself. A movie that has a bad story to tell regardless of the content will always fail at the box office. I be more concern about video games, I watched the special report on the New York NBC4 news last night "Addited to Video Games". I've never seen kids act like *that* after watching a movie

 

Besides you have the *Rating Code* and the V chip. You have the choice of content you and what you want your family to watch. But saying what one can and cannot make or watched won't sit well with most. TCM shows Rated R movies once in awhile and if you feel uncomfortable then use the channel selector, thats what it is there for.

 

Censorship is censorship.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> You know what? There are many movies produced today that have no more "sex and violence" than pre-1960 films. This is such a chestnut, the complaint that current movies are nothing but explosions, sex, and violence ( I'm tempted to make a joke about those first two words, but best to leave it.)

>

> This ever-recurring lament seems to be based on an undue concentration on the above type of film, while almost willfully ignoring all the movies that present evidence to the contrary. Yeah, yeah, there are too many sex 'n violence 'n cussing movies, I'm not denying they exist. But there are a lot of films that have none or very little of these offending features.

>

> There is wheat out there, you just have to separate it from the chaff.

 

 

I understand what you are saying...I'm not saying that movies today are nothing but sex and violence nor am I saying that I hate the films that are...The main reason I am thinking about this is that I was in a Hastings store the other day and was looking at some of the new releases. Things like "I Spit On Your Grave" and "Middle Men" were at the top of the selling list because audiences want to see that...That's what is most frustrating is that the films that are like that

 

I know that there is other films but all the focus seems to be on the excessive ones...

 

During the PC days filmmakers had to work around it and many times the art is better for it...For example The Black Cat (1934) shows the skinning of Boris Karloff's character in silhouette which is far more frightening than if it was explicitly shown

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Well, yes, I see what you mean. Sorry if I came on a little strong.

The best thing about the production code was that it forced filmmakers to be creative and subtle if they wanted to communicate something in their movie that they werent' allowed to actually show (whether it be sex or violence or something else.) And I agree with you, it was better that way 99% of the time.

 

It is dismaying how popular graphically violent horror movies are these days. And always with 18-25 year olds. You have to wonder why.

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}

> There has been a trend recently in making more PG-13 movies than R. The problem you are addressing is sort of taking care of itself. A movie that has a bad story to tell regardless of the content will always fail at the box office. I be more concern about video games, I watched the special report on the New York NBC4 news last night "Addited to Video Games". I've never seen kids act like *that* after watching a movie

>

> Besides you have the *Rating Code* and the V chip. You have the choice of content you and what you want your family to watch. But saying what one can and cannot make or watched won't sit well with most. TCM shows Rated R movies once in awhile and if you feel uncomfortable then use the channel selector, thats what it is there for.

>

> Censorship is censorship.

 

I think people are misunderstanding what I am saying...Violent movies don't make violent people...They might make filmmakers whose movies have violence but that's a different story...The violence and sex and swearing does not bother me or make me want to turn it off or leave the theater or whatever but when it has nothing to do with the art and is just to show it because it's "okay" to show it...These scenes can be done well but so often are not...I would rather not have the ones that are done well than have the "40 Year Old Virgin"s and the "Hostel"s

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well, let's see. before the Production Code, there was the PRE code era... those wild and crazy sex-mad kids from the 20's . Yes, the NINETEEN 20s. I completely respect someone's opinion on these matters, but I find it all hard to take seriously. When I was a kid, all I heard about was our loud, obnoxious, sex filled music. Our movies , we were told, were all crap, filled with nudity and sex and violence. By the way, this was the 1970's. Now , almost 40 years later, I can report that I failed to turn into a sex-crazed mass murderer. What did I turn out to be? UH a classic movie lover who hangs out on the TCM website...lol....go figure...

also, just a quick aside....why does it seem the loudest complaints about "today's" movies seem to come from people who don't actually GO to movies anymore? just sayin'

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> {quote:title=ennisdelmar2 wrote:}{quote}

> also, just a quick aside....why does it seem the loudest complaints about "today's" movies seem to come from people who don't actually GO to movies anymore? just sayin'

 

Quite a lot of people stopped going to movies in theaters when they gradually turned into mostly trash. For me it was the late '60s and early '70s, when I was in my late 20s.

 

I?d be in a theater every day now if they showed films from the 1930s, ?40s, and early ?50s.

 

When we watch movies from home, we can hit the ?mute? button if necessary, and change channels when necessary, and watch TCM most of the time. If TCM?s older code movies were showing daily in local theaters, I be in the theaters every day.

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> {quote:title=ennisdelmar2 wrote:}{quote}

> well, let's see. before the Production Code, there was the PRE code era... those wild and crazy sex-mad kids from the 20's . Yes, the NINETEEN 20s. I completely respect someone's opinion on these matters, but I find it all hard to take seriously. When I was a kid, all I heard about was our loud, obnoxious, sex filled music. Our movies , we were told, were all crap, filled with nudity and sex and violence. By the way, this was the 1970's. Now , almost 40 years later, I can report that I failed to turn into a sex-crazed mass murderer. What did I turn out to be? UH a classic movie lover who hangs out on the TCM website...lol....go figure...

> also, just a quick aside....why does it seem the loudest complaints about "today's" movies seem to come from people who don't actually GO to movies anymore? just sayin'

 

I do go to movies...I think the thing most folks are taking away from my earlier post is that I am somehow easily offended by post-production code movies. I'm really not. One of my favorite movies of last year was The Wolfman which is insanely violent but I enjoyed it because I see so much of it as an homage to those horror films of the 30's and 40's that I love so much...Another movie I really enjoyed was Black Swan and that was highly sexual in nature...

 

I just think you can say so much more sometimes by not showing something than you can by showing it...

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The Production Code painted a false picture of America. One would think that violent crime, sex, drug usage and course language didn't exist in the 1940s and 50s. Of course, the world is more violent and complex today, but those years weren't exactly Disney-esque. Oh, and married couples (as well as unmarried couples) DID share a bed.

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> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}

> The Production Code painted a false picture of America. One would think that violent crime, sex, drug usage and course language didn't exist in the 1940s and 50s.

 

No.

 

We still had the news back in those days, newspapers, radio. And we had rumors about the news. Men told other men what they had heard about some lady who got attacked in an alley off Main Street, and ladies told ladies. These were the most sordid stories one can imagine. I overheard some of them as a kid, when I pretended I was asleep late at night, when we had company over.

 

Also, there were the pulp fiction books, thousands of them, on sale at newsstands (which were all over town) for .15 ?, also on sale at bus and train stations, and at some drug stores. Thousands of them with lurid paintings on the covers.

 

http://www.pulpcards.com/

 

 

 

One reason so many people around the world liked old classic American movies was because they were great movies and they were decent, and the whole family could go to see them.

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FredCDobbs wrote:

<< Quite a lot of people stopped going to movies in theaters when they gradually turned into mostly trash. >>

 

After seeing this advertised on TV, you got a very good point. Even a Rated G movie can be suited for the dumpster. I'm simply speaking of the *quality!*

 

gnomeo_and_juliet_ver2.jpg

 

Edited by: hamradio on Mar 2, 2011 11:37 PM

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> Men told other men what they had heard about some lady who got attacked in an alley off Main Street, and ladies told ladies. These were the most sordid stories one can imagine.

 

And if you recall, a girl whispered to Scarlett who that "nasty man" Rhett Butler was. We never hear exactly what happened but, "She was ruined just the same."

 

> One reason so many people around the world liked old classic American movies was because they were great movies and they were decent, and the whole family could go to see them.

 

Exactly the point!

 

I could watch THE CHILDREN'S HOUR with a 10 yr old without embarrassment or explanation.

I like when films are creative skirting around issues, it teaches you to THINK about the story, not be spoon fed a story. I know people have sex, WHY would I want to see it in action? Just how does that further the story?

I know the guy has been killed by a bullet, WHY do I need to see the exit wound & blood spurting out? Does it enhance Theresa Wright's killing in MRS MINIVER? No, it's tragic enough.

 

Recently I watched DO THE RIGHT THING recorded off TCM overnight. I expected the worst but was actually surprised. There was a lot of "street talk" and violence, but not over the top, as I see in Cohen Bros films where every other word is the F word. Who really talks like that? I give Spike Lee a lot of credit for just telling a story in an honest way so that most everyone can watch it.

 

Overt sex & violence in films these days only limits your audience.

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as I see in Cohen Bros films where every other word is the F word

 

I don't think this is true about their films at all. Even No Country for Old Men (which I disliked) was not like this. Fargo did have a lot of curse words but it was only specific characters doing the cursing.

 

I don't remember any curses in True Grit or O Brother.

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I 've noticed a lot of people on these boards have it in for the Coen brothers. They always cite violence and swearing as two evils perpetrated by the Coens in their filmmaking. I really don't understand this; they do have violence in many of their films, but they also have quite a few with no or very little violence whatsoever. ( *O Brother Where Art Thou?*, *Intolerable Cruelty*, *A Serious Man* ...)

When they have a lot of cursing, as Kinokima observed, it's because of a certain character given to cursing.

I do acknowledge that the Coens are not for everybody's taste, and I will be the first to concede that they've made their share of failed movies (I hesitate to use the word "bad"), but it seems that it's always the Coens who are brought up as the whipping boys for concerns over excessive violence in current cinema (nobody can accuse them of graphic sex scenes). There are other respected filmmakers who have used violence in their films that's at least as graphic and disturbing as the Coens, but nobody mentions them eg, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino.

 

All three of the filmmakers I've named above do often use graphic violence in their movies, sometimes excessively and unnecessarily. But I would argue that these same films are about a lot more than violence, that all three of these directors tell good stories, feature three-dimensional characters , and examine serious issues. And sometimes they're funny, too.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> I 've noticed a lot of people on these boards have it in for the Coen brothers. They always cite violence and swearing as two evils perpetrated by the Coens in their filmmaking. I really don't understand this; they do have violence in many of their films, but they also have quite a few with no or very little violence whatsoever. ( *O Brother Where Art Thou?*, *Intolerable Cruelty*, *A Serious Man* ...)

> When they have a lot of cursing, as Kinokima observed, it's because of a certain character given to cursing.

> I do acknowledge that the Coens are not for everybody's taste, and I will be the first to concede that they've made their share of failed movies (I hesitate to use the word "bad"), but it seems that it's always the Coens who are brought up as the whipping boys for concerns over excessive violence in current cinema (nobody can accuse them of graphic sex scenes). There are other respected filmmakers who have used violence in their films that's at least as graphic and disturbing as the Coens, but nobody mentions them eg, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino.

>

> All three of the filmmakers I've named above do often use graphic violence in their movies, sometimes excessively and unnecessarily. But I would argue that these same films are about a lot more than violence, that all three of these directors tell good stories, feature three-dimensional characters , and examine serious issues. And sometimes they're funny, too.

 

 

Exactly. It can be done where there is a balance and those are examples of filmmakers who have been able to find that balance in many ways. Whereas you look at a movie like 300 or almost anything by Paul Verhoeven don't seem to have that balance of violence and story,

 

Most of Tarantino's films are more violent in nature than in actual bloodshed. Take a look at Pulp Fiction. Most of the violence happens offscreen or is only hinted at or you see the aftermath of it rather than the actual act.

 

EDIT: I realize Kill Bill Volume 1 is one of the exceptions

 

Another example of a filmmaker who uses graphic violence but with that same balance is Cronenberg

 

Edited by: Don'tCallMeSugar on Mar 3, 2011 2:11 PM

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> {quote:title=Don'tCallMeSugar wrote:}{quote}

> Things like "I Spit On Your Grave" and "Middle Men" were at the top of the selling list because audiences want to see that...That's what is most frustrating is that the films that are like that

 

Well you do have a point..... sort of.

 

What about the newer film releases from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s? I mean you could compare the transitional films from that period and place the same type of argument on those films. I am thinking of the films with Marlon Brando and the few by James Dean. Older audiences then were not accustomed to seeing those type of films either.

 

I mean every era has had its share of films that were produced one way and then shifted because of one reason or the other. After World War II was completed, films started to look slightly different than what was produced before the war. Many films became a little more serious with an underlying current of cynicism, and a harder edge to them. You think audiences were cheering for these types of films? I think that is one of the reasons why many people decided to stay home and start watching the new medium called television. Shows on TV were even more sanitized than what was being shown in a larger degree at the movies. And that was what audiences were clamoring for.

 

I agree that many of the films of today are geared toward younger audiences. But lets face it many of the studios today are run by bean counters who are less likely to spend their financier's money on what might be considered an Oscar front runner and more concerned with making a fast buck at the box office with even more sales online or at the video store.

 

I am not saying that most audiences of today want to see these newer sex-violence films, only a certain amount of film-goers are going to see these films. The same people who go see The King's Speech or True Grit, or The Fighter are in a different category all-together.

 

I would venture to say that the young people who go see all of the so-called makes no sense comedy films or the slasher / vampire / werewolf type films are NOT going to spend their valuable money on The King's Speech or True Grit, or The Fighter.

 

Same is true with video games. Maybe its just me but I do not know one person at my age level (51) who is in the slightest bit interested in video games. I am not saying that there are no people past my age interested in video games, I just do not know any that are. I am sure there are millions of people who are.

 

Just because there is no PC anymore does not mean their are no quality films being produced today. There are plenty. Maybe not as many as there were in 1941, but they do exist.

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> {quote:title=fxreyman wrote:}{quote}

>

> I am not saying that most audiences of today want to see these newer sex-violence films, only a certain amount of film-goers are going to see these films. The same people who go see The King's Speech or True Grit, or The Fighter are in a different category all-together.

>

> I would venture to say that the young people who go see all of the so-called makes no sense comedy films or the slasher / vampire / werewolf type films are NOT going to spend their valuable money on The King's Speech or True Grit, or The Fighter.

>

>

 

I don't know if that is entirely true...For example I saw The Wolfman twice as well as seeing both True Grit and The King's Speech twice. I only saw The Fighter once but the showing I got to go to was the last showing that the theater had...

 

Edited by: Don'tCallMeSugar on Mar 3, 2011 11:27 AM

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