Our Movie Made Children

By Henry James Forman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
MOVIES AND CONDUCT

MOTION pictures are a school. The investigations of Drs. Dale, Holaday, Thurstone and Blumer have definitely proved to us not only that much, indeed, most, of what this school teaches remains in the memory, but that it remains there for a long time, perhaps permanently, and that it colors the attitude and conduct of the pupil. In view of this, it is hardly surprising that some of the investigators gathered a store of data upon the widespread extent to which movie heroes, heroines, villains, indeed most of the characters and also the situations are imitated by children and adolescents.

The mirror held up by the movies is gazed into by myriads of adolescents and even young children in their secret thoughts, in their broodings, their day-dreaming and fantasies--they want to be like the people in the movies. One can hardly refrain from smiling at such a passionate outburst as this upon the part of a young Negro high-school girl:

"Oh, to possess what Miss Bow has--that elusive little thing called 'It'! After seeing her picture by that name, I immediately went home to take stock of my personal charms before my vanity mirror, and after carefully surveying myself from all angles, I turned away with a

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