The 1960’S

The fifties was a learning year and the 60’s became the time to express everything that they learned. The 60’s was a time for new and innovative ways to entertain the people. Since the blacklisting continued in Hollywood, the making or films became very difficult to express. The restrictions, such as the production codes, kept the big corporations to produce films that had no interesting subjects. These films also had to be films that show no signs of communistic values. The film industry was failing to bring in the audience to the theaters. With the TV making a big wave all over, the U.S. the film industry was losing it is money. Then in 1961 something big happened, 20th Century Fox took apart its lot. This act was one that led to a chain reaction. Studios were assuming the role of distributors. This would allow the independent companies to come in and add a new flavor to the silver screen. During this time films changed it’s traditional film making ideas. Things started to get graphic, more violent, sexual and more expressive. Movies had found a new look and with the production codes now gone and the blacklisting ending, there was an explosion of ideas that would be presented to the United States.
The change in the U.S. can be said to be a social revolution. People were growing sick of the same old movies, they wanted a change and Hollywood needed to deliver or else they would lose their audience to the TV. In the early 60’s, the studios were still afraid of the blacklisting so the films were still very safe. An example of this is the film Sound of Music (1965). This was a film about a musical family that needed to escape the Nazi presence. Although the movie is based on a true story, they still follow the same old idea of a nice family, who must escape from the clutches of evil. Basically, the movie is saying good guys win and bad guys always lose. Sure this how most films are made but there is no sense of change, no differences in the style or way it was made. Since there was no change, the public was not interested. The TV was much more convenient and kept the publics interested.
It was not until the late 60’s, that people started to notice the change on the silver screen. Movies started to head in a different direction. In November of 1968, the Production Codes were gone; the producers could make movies with more freedom of expression. There were no more restriction for the film industry, except for the obvious ones. The content of all films started to become more vivid.
For example the Film Bonnie & Clyde, directed by Arthur Penn, has scenes of Bonnie & Clyde being shoot up at the end of the movie. The graphic scene of them getting shot up with many bullets just adds a very grotesque taste on the mouths of the public. Yet, in al the blood splattering and violent deaths, this was different. Although the good guys win there was a certain sympathy for the bank robbers when they died. Something that is never felt for the “bad guys.” The same goes for the Movie the Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah, the movie ends in a blood bath. People dying all over the place and not a single survivor. Very violent, but a change that makes Hollywood noticed again.
But it wasn’t just violence that started to change but also the level of Sex and drug use. In the movie Last Summer (1969), directed by Frank Perry, there is a great deal of sexual innuendoes. The characters from the movie are adolescents that experiment with their sexual desires and experiment with drugs. This film also defies the norm or adolescents being uneducated to the worldly things such as sex and drugs. The adolescents in the movie have a deeper knowledge of themselves and are more complex than the way previous movies portrait them as. Not to mention The Graduate (1967), directed by Mike Nichols, a story about a college Graduate who finds himself stuck in his life. However, finds his way out through by having an affair with his parents friends wife, Mrs. Robinson. This only leads to trouble when he falls in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. The thought of an affair is something that is highly not seen in movies before. Nevertheless, it is something that happens in real life and this movie shows it. The adolescents in the movies are portraits as more mature. Of course they are this is the 60’s with the great protests and rallies, the youth is what made the 60’s move the way it did.
Hollywood was coming out of a funk during the 60’s. There were changes of power, to changes of thought. A time of expression and a time to let things out. This was one of the decades where freedom of speech is seen very clearly through movies. The codes were gone; the U.S. was going through a cultural change. The youth was becoming increasingly a part of the coming age. It was not left to the adults anymore. The youth have spoken up to the things that they have seen and they spoke loudly. The 50’s had people bottled up and when the 60’s arrived, everything just exploded.
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