Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh For the Good Old Days

by Molly Noble Bull

About a week ago, my husband and I sat down to watch an old TV western, and I expected to be entertained. I wasn’t.
Though it featured famous actors, an interesting setting, and good conflict, the movie fell flat. I think I know why. At least, I know what I didn’t like about it.
Except for one minor character who died before the end of the movie, there were no good guys. There was nobody to root for.
The main character and his brother were criminals. They robbed banks and killed people without a thought. The heroine was a former prostitute who loved the hero’s worthless brother. I never understood why. I lost count of the number of banks the brothers and their gang robbed and the number of people they killed.
By the end of the movie, I wanted to throw something at the television set.
At one time, the motion picture industry held to a code of conduct. According to the code, there could be bad guys in a movie, but the good guys had to win. The bad guys always got their just rewards. Either they were killed in a shoot-out with the good guy or went to prison. A bad guy was never the hero.
Not so today.
I like books and movies where there is a clear choice between good vs. evil. Today, we constantly see evil vs. evil in books and movies. The handsome hero is a burglar or a bank robber, and he not only gets away with his crimes without any sort of retribution, he also gets the girl at the end of the movie.
Oh for the “good old days.”


Lady Glamis said...

Huh, great thoughts! There are lots of movies lately like this that have bothered me. Movies are increasingly harder and harder for me to like and pick favorites. So sad. :(

Warren Baldwin said...

Good critique not only of this movie but of the whole entertainment scene, I think. This is part of our postmodern dilemma - what is right and what is wrong? Who is right and who is wrong? No one wants to take a stand, least of all Hollywood.