It seems like so many movies and television shows nowadays are full of nudity, profanity, drug use, and violence. The media we’re exposed to today is often icky and uncomfortable to watch. And I, for one, miss watching timeless classics with tasteful storytelling and morally upstanding characters. I miss the old Hollywood, back when movies were better because America was better.
Watch any content that’s rated R or TV-MA, and odds are you’re eventually going to see two characters get naked and do the deed. The prevalence of sex on screen makes it seem as if millions of American adults are having sex with each other practically every other night. The scenes are never necessary or insightful — just think of how pointless the sex scene is in Terminator, which is supposed to be a movie about robots and time travel. Given how awkward these sex scenes can be to watch, I don’t think anyone should be forced to have the option to sit through them.
But the decline of morality in movies and television is hardly limited to attitudes towards sex. There are countless modern films that applaud gang violence, drug abuse, and other societal ills. Take the movie Moonlight, for example. Anyone watching the scene where Chiron is counting his money would think that being a drug dealer was awesome and that they would definitely want to be one. I guess the film is just another case of Hollywood using the allure of drugs, violence, and the gangster lifestyle to sell more movie tickets.
Sadly, not even children’s content is immune from Hollywood’s moral decay. I recently had the misfortune of watching a movie called Minions: The Rise of Gru about a boy named Gru who aspires to one day be the world’s greatest supervillain. He rises through the ranks of San Francisco’s seedy criminal underbelly with the help of an army of yellow Spanish-speaking aliens called Minions. But, rather than suffer the consequences of his mischievous actions, Gru’s criminal behavior goes entirely unpunished. And that’s to say nothing of the anti-American values of the Minions, who, despite living in San Francisco for years, never bother learning to speak proper English. Do we really want our kids watching stuff like that?
Compare these modern movies to the enduring classic films of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Back then, filmmakers held themselves to higher moral standards. And those standards were reflected back in the culture of the time. It was an era of well-manicured lawns and white picket fences, where family values thrived, and where disagreements were handled with compassion and mutual respect. Not like all the civil unrest and immoral behavior you see in the news today. It’s pretty obvious from watching movies from back then that just about every segment of America’s population was far better off before the 1960’s than they are today.
I miss the glamor and elegance of classic cinema. I miss all the men in double-breasted suits, the women in elegant dresses, and the bellhops, elevator operators, waiters, and housemaids in their stylish uniforms, addressing their clientele politely and saying things like “oh, yessir, right away sir.” I miss societal structures where everyone seemed to know their place.
I also miss that women seemed more motherly than they do now. The women of classic television were always so skilled around the house, were much better listeners, and just seemed to cause less trouble for everyone than women now. What happened to those traditional feminine qualities?
I guess the biggest thing about modern movies and television is that they just don’t feel safe anymore. You never know these days when something is going to make you feel uncomfortable, or disagree with your views. I think that speaks to the fact that we’ve neglected good, old-fashioned American values, and it’s time we spruced them back up a bit. What American media needs, metaphorically speaking, is a fresh coat of paint. A good, solid whitewashing, if you will.
With that in mind, I think we ought to crack down on any media that features unsavory behavior, sexual depravity, and anything else that’s challenging to watch and doesn’t conform with the beliefs and attitudes of classic Hollywood — a time when America was simply a better place.
If we do that, maybe then we’ll begin to restore American culture back to its roots. Maybe then our society will look a little less like Get Out and a little more like Gone With The Wind.
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very funny, can't wait for your book!
Totally agree I love the B&W classics. A lot of those films were adapted from books and plays which I think makes the difference in quality presentation. However themes and characters were products of their time, so cringe moments turn some away. But those same people watch the classics every year. Why because the classic films protray the human condition without fliching ...no violence needed. The film's made today don't leave enough to the imagination. I wrote about this theme in 'Where's The Mirth' I see films are getting better in terms of writing 'The Oufit' is new film I impressed. Hey, I guess had a lot to say here. 😊