I recently watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with my class. At one point, I'm pretty sure that Veruca Salt referred to her father's employees as a bunch of twats. The kids didn't notice, but I was shocked. This is a kid's movie?
I was reminded of the time a few years ago when I was leading a Strat-O-Matic baseball summer camp at my school. We would take breaks during the day to watch baseball themed films and I decided to show the kids The Bad News Bears. However, I wasn't sure if it was fully appropriate for young kids. It had been a long time since I had seen it and I couldn't remember. So I e-mailed Hot Tub Eric for advice. Unfortunately, I decided to start it before I heard back from him.
And the film was not even remotely okay to show eight-year-old kids that aren't mine. Not only is Walter Matthau drunk all the time, but the kids spend half their time talking about getting high, discussing birth control pills, cursing, looking at issues of Playboy, or driving the team van while drunk.
When the famous line "All we got on this team are a bunch of jews, spicks, niggers, pansies, and a booger eating moron," was uttered, I turned the movie off and inquired, "Who wants to watch Angels in the Outfield? And with that, I extricated myself from a dicey situation. Fortunately, no parents complained.
But, holy shit, what the hell was going on in the 70's? It's like our society had reached such a level of sophistication/ hedonism that even the movies for kids were chockful of debauchery. The aforementioned quote from The Bad News Bears is a classic line, but would never be allowed in a mainstream movie today, let alone a children's film.
When did this shift happen? By the time I was ten years old, movies for kids consisted of safe schlock like Goonies. Don't get me wrong I like that movie, but it couldn't be more test-marketed and inoffensive.
What was going on in the 70's when you could deal with such touchy subject matter in a children's film and still get away with it?
Fuck you old man, it's the 70's!
Phillies 9 Mets 4
1 week ago