Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Michael Medved laments the decline of the movie business over Jack Valenti's tenure as president of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Dropping the old Production Code in favor of Mr. Valenti's "voluntary rating system" has lead to "the profligate use of obscene language strictly banned under the Production Code, the inclusion of graphic sex scenes along with near total nudity and, more vivid, sadistic violence than previously permitted in Hollywood movies." The economic result is that, despite reports of record "grosses" for new releases, fewer people are actually going to the movies these days. The record numbers are due more to inflation and rising ticket prices than increasing volume. The more tawdry pictures have driven away viewers.

Anyone for censorship to save an industry? Of course, that's not exactly an argument that Rousseau would have contemplated in his pro-censorship Letter to D'Alembert.


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