Our Movie Made Children

By Henry James Forman | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XI
THE PATH TO DELINQUENCY

ANYONE considering the revelation of the findings by the group of scientific investigators in their survey of the motion pictures is moved to rueful laughter at the topsy-turvy quality of our civilization.

Quite definitely emerges the fact that the movies are a school, a system of education virtually unlimited, untrammelled and uncontrolled. It could be an immense and unprecedented instrument of civilization. Whenever what is called a good picture is produced, evidence is plentiful to show that those who see it, notably the young, are instantly affected by it. That type of picture, however, continues to be far too rare.

We used to smile at the goody-goody quality of what was called Sunday-school literature. Our pendulum has certainly swung far the other way when we reflect for a moment upon the evidence presented as to the contents of the volume of pictures daily emitted from Hollywood. When we recall that in 115 pictures presented to our 77,00,000 audience, as Dr. Dale found, 406 crimes are actually committed, and an additional forty-three attempted; that many of their characters are not only far from being models of human conduct, but are, many of them, highly objectionable in their occupations, in their

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