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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:18 AM

Is Hollywood more violent?

I would say, in general, that the amount of violence in movies today versus 30 or 40 or 50 years ago, is roughly the same. What has changed is that the violence is much more realistic and/or graphic then it used to be.

Something new relatively new is the widespread availability horror or "torture-porn" genre of movies where the primary purpose is to show as much graphic violence and gore as possible.

It also seems that the threshold of what is considered violent has changed. Using the tv show NCIS as an example, many weekly episodes would have been rated R according to movie ratings, just 20 years ago.

This is not meant as a criticism of NCIS. It is generally well written and well acted and any violence or graphic images are meant to be realistic as opposed to gratuitous. NCIS also is generally realistic in portraying the emotional and psychological costs the characters sometimes face as a result of the violence and the choices they made.



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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is Hollywood more violent? (Original post)
Lurks Often Jan 2013 OP
Puzzledtraveller Jan 2013 #1
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #2
Recursion Jan 2013 #5
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #7
randome Jan 2013 #8
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #10
clarice Jan 2013 #13
randome Jan 2013 #3
clarice Jan 2013 #4
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #14
clarice Jan 2013 #16
Orrex Jan 2013 #19
clarice Jan 2013 #20
Orrex Jan 2013 #22
clarice Jan 2013 #25
Recursion Jan 2013 #6
Maeve Jan 2013 #9
clarice Jan 2013 #12
clarice Jan 2013 #11
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #15
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #21
clarice Jan 2013 #24
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #23
Orrex Jan 2013 #17
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #18
rustydog Jan 2013 #26
randome Jan 2013 #27

Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:20 AM

1. Like sex, violence does sell.

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:22 AM

2. I think the biggest difference is how much violence is disentangled from the results of violence

We see whole cities decimated, but we don't see the clean up or the thousands of funerals that would occur following one o f the transformers movies or even the Avengers (which i liked quite a bit). I think that might be worse than more visceral visions of violence. But then again I don't know. I like action movies.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:25 AM

5. Did we see that in the past? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:28 AM

7. Star Wars is sort of the harbinger of it

Before that violence did generally have consequences. Or there was real threat to the hero (as in war movies/westerns). Look at Shane for example - a character who is set apart from society by his violence.

Bryant

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:28 AM

8. Yeah. Godzilla. Any alien invasion movie.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:36 AM

10. Maybe we watched different movies growing up

I don't remember off hand seeing any movies where the aftermath and the cost were portrayed, although that could very well be a reflection of one's taste in movies

If you watched many of the John Wayne, Errol Flynn or Gary Cooper or Humphrey Bogart movies, everything was clear cut. The bad guys were clearly bad and they always got what they deserved. Rarely did the hero die and if he DID die, it was always heroically, often with his last words meant to be inspirational. Bullet or sword wounds either weren't shown or shown with a little dab of fake blood. There were no body parts flying or hanging out of the body.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:41 AM

13. Ah.....the good old days nt

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:24 AM

3. They also found ways to sex it up even more.

Sensuality is the new nudity. Gay rights are becoming more mainstream? Okay, let's have some lesbianism thrown in for good measure. Anyone going to complain about that?

Mind you, I have nothing against sex OR violence but Hollywood is clearly pushing the envelope as far as possible. They always have, I guess. I'm not sure what the solution is other than a sea change in what we choose to pay to see.

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:24 AM

4. If I may

I think that the violence/sex depicted in movies,tv shows, etc
is MUCH more graphic now than it was in the say, 50's and 60's.
In those days (with exceptions) violence/sex was more implied than overt. Now, everything has to be
in your face
, Part of the dumbing down of America. IMO

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Response to clarice (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:08 PM

14. 50's and 60's were 'whites only TV' and married couples were protrayed with twin beds....

And women, well they were in the home, married and very happy about all of that. Are those changes also part of the 'dumbing down of America' IYO? Just saying, those 'good old days' were not that good for most of us.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:11 PM

16. No, I was speaking more about guts and viscera flying at me in 3D

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Response to clarice (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:27 PM

19. You're aware that such displays have been a mainstay of live theater for millennia?

We can debate the quality of the special effects then and now, but spectators have loved blood and gore for just about as long as performers have been performing.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:52 PM

20. Just not my cup of tea I guess.nt

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Response to clarice (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:11 PM

22. Fair enough

Not everyone has a taste for entrails and burst eyeballs!

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Response to Orrex (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:40 PM

25. LOL !!!!!

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:26 AM

6. Reservoir Dogs was 20 years ago. Texas Chainsaw Massacre was 40 years ago

Mola Ram ripped into a guy's chest cavity and pulled out his heart 30 years ago, and that wasn't even R-rated.

Not sure how far back you're trying to go, but my inclination is "not really".

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Response to Recursion (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:30 AM

9. It goes in waves

But never quite goes away. There is a company of "really weird video" that has tons of old exploitation movies filled with vicious crap that was drive-in fodder. (yeah, I know--no one ever WATCHED movies at the drive-in!)

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Response to Maeve (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:39 AM

12. LOL..I'm old enough to remember drive-ins nt

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Response to Recursion (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:37 AM

11. That's why I said with exceptions

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Response to Recursion (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:10 PM

15. Facts are problematic for those with the Hollywood blame fever...they remember a racist sexist

past as a golden hey day, and they forget the films you speak of and any others that don't fit the agenda.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:10 PM

21. You read a lot more into my OP then what I was trying to discuss.

Movies & TV usually reflect the culture "norms" when they were made. I'm certainly glad we've made a lot of progress.

Where I was trying to go with this thread was that I remember the movies that were made in the 1940's, 50's and early to mid 60's were less graphically violent then what is coming out today.

It was not to say that that time period was some kind of "Golden Age", because it wasn't. Nor am I blaming everything on Hollywood, if there wasn't a profitable market for the graphically violent movie, Hollywood wouldn't be making them.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:39 PM

24. Thanks Lurks, I tjhought the same thing when

I read Blues post, but being a newbie, I refrained myself.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:21 PM

23. Reservoir Dogs was very realistic, much more so than today's gore porn but being realistic, it

 

wasn't nearly as graphic as the sick shit put out today. If I'm thinking of the right film, Indiana Jones, the heart-ripping scene was borderline laughable, as it was intended to be as a Lucas special effects extravaganza.

Films are an art form. They use a variety of techniques to trick the audience mind into filling in what isn't actually there. One early example is Hitchcock's Psycho, to this day people will tell you all kinds of things about the shower scene that were simply not in the film.

The unrealistic, yet graphically clear, sadistic crap put out today is far worse than anything put out even as recently as the 90s. IMO it is the total focus on the sadistic aspect that is the difference.

Texas Chainsaw, Night of the Living Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, while disgustingly disturbing in their day, just don't compare.

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:12 PM

17. You're right--violence has been popular for decades

here are a few films that graphically show amputations or eviscerations and were released more than 20 years ago:

Predator (1987)
Robocop (1987)
The Fly (1986)
Gymkata (1985)
The Hunger (1983)
The Thing (1982)
Creepshow (1982)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Alien (1979)
Star Wars (1977)
Blood Sucking Freaks (1976)
Jaws (1975)
The Brain That Would Not Die (1959)
Freaks (1932)
Un chien andalou (1929)

That's fifteen titles, just from memory, though I had to look up the dates. I'm sure that I could come up with a much longer list from the 50s and 60s, and that's not even including any Jason, Michael, or Freddy films.

IMO the main reason that we didn't see more blood and gore in earlier films is that the special effects weren't up to the task. An otherwise dramatic scene could easily have been derailed by a too-rubbery arm flopping about.

In any case, it's clear that graphic amputations and eviscerations have been very popular in film for at least eight decades. Sure, they might feature more prominently in recent films, but honestly not that many. Quick: give me a list of theater-released films in the past 20 years that have graphically portrayed amputations. It won't be a much larger list than what you could assemble for any other two-decade slice of film history.


There is nothing new under the sun.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:31 PM

18. Good Points

and I agree the advances in special effects has had an impact. You are also right that there is rarely anything new under the sun.

Our viewpoints are shaped by our memories, our ages and the movies we watched and didn't watch growing up.

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:40 PM

26. All you see is tits, handguns, rockets and kick ass martial arts, non-stop

No insinuated romance, just man on top get it over with quick gratuitous sex. no hint of violence, close-up of head, gunshot view of face exploding into bit of blood and gore... bloody gun battles, scantily clad women.

Even the comedies, or teen movies have too much sex and violence. it is so much easier to write a scene where she removes her top, gets in shower and evil guy with knife kills her. than to write nuanced scene that captures your imagination and attention because it is intriguing instead of gratuitous.
Man gets mad at another who admires the woman he is with. words are exchanged, angrily, and the bloody beating ensues. Taught that guy a lesson!
Everything or most every issue in movies today is solved with blatant sex or violence. the more blood seen, even better.

Then you have real life answers to real-life dilemmas: The ONLY thing to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. really, Callahan? Really?

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Response to Lurks Often (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:45 PM

27. A lot of examples of sci-fi and horror movies in this thread but those are less believable.

So they don't have as visceral an impact on people's sensibilities. It's the torture porn and slasher movies that have more impact, IMO. At least they do with me. I let my daughters watch zombie movies but not slasher movies.

Violence, per se, doesn't bother me. But I think Hollywood has gone overboard trying to push it in more real-life situations. As I said, I don't know the solution, if there is one. But I think we would all be better off without so much gratuitous torture on display.

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