Magazine article Insight on the News

Good, Clean Viewing

Magazine article Insight on the News

Good, Clean Viewing

Article excerpt

Movieguide honors the best family movies and inspirational entertainment while showing that sex, nudity and violence aren't the cornerstones of American entertainment after all.

Hollywood is making more movies with positive content than ever before, according to Movieguide, a Los Angeles-based magazine that tracks family-friendly films. Each spring, timed to coincide with the Academy Awards, Movieguide issues its annual review of film and television, and hosts an awards gala honoring the year's best movies and actors.

The Basket, a small independent film about a teacher who helps a town learn tolerance with the help of basketball and opera, won this year's Best Film for Families Award. The Patriot, a saga about the American Revolution starring Mel Gibson, won the award for Best Film for Mature Audiences.

Return to Me, a romantic tale about a heart-transplant patient, won the $25,000 Epiphany Prize for Most Inspirational Movie. The Miracle Maker, an animated feature about the life of Jesus Christ broadcast by ABC, won the $25,000 Epiphany Prize for Most Inspirational Television Program.

Carroll O'Connor won the Grace Prize for Most Inspirational Movie Acting for his performance in Return to Me. Ulrich Tukur won the Grace Prize for Most Inspirational Television Acting for his portrayal of a Lutheran theologian fighting the Nazis in the PBS production Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace.

Movieguide, founded by the Christian Film and Television Commission, actively advocates for spiritual values not only among concerned parents, but also with media executives and artists. Some 150 top executives and filmmakers attended its gala this year, 50 percent more than the prior year, according to Ted Baehr, commission chairman.

"Good guys finish first," Baehr told the moguls, noting that Movieguide identified 118 films with positive Christian content in 2000, a quarter more than it counted in 1999 and more than double what it totaled in 1997. "About 170 million Americans attend church on a typical Sunday. This is your audience."

Family-friendly movies with positive content continue to earn more money on average than movies with excessive violence, foul language, explicit sex, graphic nudity and other content that offends the majority of people in the United States, says Baehr. Movies with a positive acceptability rating from Movieguide earned $38.6 million on average in 2000; movies with a negative rating averaged only $21 million.

Movieguide's 2000 review also found that films containing a strong Christian worldview earned $42. …

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