True stories with a twist!

The Turner Classic Movie channel delights and entertains with memories of old favorite movie stars and their films. I had forgotten some of the films and was delighted to rediscover them.

Unknown-1.jpegBut it is surprising to watch some of those films and realize that “this scene would never work today!” Everything seems to be topsy-turvy.  Things that were once  considered risqué are now accepted as commonplace. Things that once shocked people are no longer shock-worthy. We are accustomed to scenes that could never have been shown a few decades ago.

But some of the tables have been turned. Movies that seemed innocent back as recent as the fifties would be considered practically obscene by the today’s moral standards.

“Father Is A Bachelor,” starring William Holden, is a film from 1950. Holden plays a shiftless man who comes upon a family of five children living alone in a cabin along the Mississippi River. We later learn that their parents were killed in a steamboat accident. Holden’s character befriends the children, who ask him to stay. He agrees to remain for a short time. The youngest child, a girl of about five, sits on his lap and cuddles up. (Oh no; that poor innocent child!) Then she asks him to put her to bed! (uh oh: feeling uncomfortable.) He takes her to her bed (eek: goose bumps rising) and undresses her (grit your teeth!) to prepare her for bedtime. She tells Holden that she has only one dress and asks him to make her a new one. He agrees, and with the four brothers watching, Holden spreads a bolt of cloth on the floor. He then carries the sleeping girl out of her bed and lies her atop the cloth. He begins to cut a pattern around her body. When he gets to her legs he lifts one leg up (eek: violated privacy) and cuts the fabric under the leg. Then he cuts the fabric farther and lifts the other leg to continue cutting the dress under her body (That pervert!).

Of course Holden turns out to have a heart of gold. He pawns his few belongings to buy the children food and supplies to survive alone in the cabin.


I was surprised by my reaction. I must be brainwashed by current events and claims of innocent women being abused by powerful men. But scenes with the child and William Holden that would have seemed “cute” at one time, seemed seedy and unscrupulous by today’s standards. How fickle the public eye is; it seems so easy to turn an entire generation. One decade’s innocence is the next decade’s abuse.






Comments on: "Old Movies: Current Sensitivities" (17)

  1. Sad, but true. A poignant reminder of the complicated time we’re living in.

  2. Helen Carey said:

    Such an interesting thought, Ronnie. We truly have lost any innocence we may have had.

  3. I saw that movie, too, and had some of the same thoughts/feelings. There have been others, too, that I can’t think of right now. We are so sensitized to molestation, harrassment, etc., that our innocence has been permanently smashed and shredded.

  4. I can sympathise Ronnie, I came across a blog the other day that was pointing out old adverts One was of a pregnant woman cartoon shown to be smoking, with the words ~ NICO TIME CIGARETTES, The Smooth Taste Expectant Mothers Crave…. That made me cringe .. Also one which was showing a baby,, Which said NO FLIES ON ME- THANKS TO DDT.
    And wait for it… One which showed a womans face, which was a soap advert for LUX which said ” Women Keep your Mimsy Clean!” None of those today would be allowed.. LOL
    ❤ So I so could feel your cringes watching that old film.. ❤

  5. Times have changed. Good to have the perspective.

  6. It seems movies and TV shows push the boundaries to see how far they can go. If something is integral to the story, fine, but the gratuitous stuff just gets old. It’s funny because what was once rated X, like Midnight Cowboy, would now be R. Maybe even PG-13.

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