Our Movie Made Children

By Henry James Forman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
MOVIE-MADE CRIMINALS

POSSIBLY it is a source of pride to us that as a nation we do nothing by halves. If we have the greatest booms, we also have the most appalling depressions. If we manufacture a product, we standardize it, produce it by the traveling-belt system and put it out in millions. Likewise, when we produce criminals, we standardize the product, produce it on a national scale and in unprecedented numbers. Dr. E. H. Sutherland in his "Criminology" shows that between say, 1914 and 1922 burglaries and attempts against members of the American Bankers' Association have increased out of all proportion to the growth of our population. In 1914 the figures per 100,000 members was 19.1; in 1922 it had risen to 97.5. Similarly, holdups in 1914 were 4.8 per 100,000; in 1922 they were 41.3. The writer knows of no other country showing such increases of crime. According to the evidence, as shown in the foregoing chapter and as will appear in this one, the movies, with their nation-wide public of 77,000,000, with their large output of pictures presenting crime scenes though only one element, play a significant part in showing techniques, methods and means of committing crimes.

When careful investigators find that seventeen per

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