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A good friend of mine loves old movies, and there are lots I enjoy, too. Recently she loaned me a DVD collection with Doris Day and Rock Hudson that included a movie called Pillow Talk, made in 1959. Let me say that they have fantastic chemistry on screen and that the movie was cute in general. But as I was watching it, I wondered if I'd let my children sit through it.

Why? Well, surely a movie from 1959, the era of Leave it to Beaver and the Dick Van Dyke Show, must be wholesome and uplifting?

There are some aspects of the movie that are: the goal for the young woman is to settle down and have a family with the man of her dreams. The womanizer, Rock Hudson, mends his ways and pursues the driven career-girl and eventually wins her over. The physical affection between the couple is relatively innocent most of the time.

BUT-

When Rock Hudson's character, Brad Allen, has a button he can push in his apartment that transforms his place into a love nest, complete with a fold out bed that mechanically pops out, the lights going down, the record player starting...How do I explain what's happening to my children?

"Oh, he's just having a sleepover." ???

Another scene shows the two of them in a split screen, each in the bathtub covered with bubbles on the phone. It's very sensual and made me feel embarrassed even though I was watching by myself. What do I say to that?

"Ummm...you probably wouldn't want to talk on the phone in the bathtub because you might drop it in and electrocute yourself? And it's immodest to let anyone see you bathing...Let's fast forward-"

Not to mention the outright deception Hudson's character pulls off. Granted, he does face the consequences of his actions, but it's still painful to watch.

In researching the history of the movie, I discovered that even Rock Hudson was hesitant to make this movie because he thought it was "too racy". (Of course, the tragic turn of his life might become a post in and of itself someday. It's terribly sad. At any rate...)

In many ways, this movie isn't much different in its subtle messages than a modern movie. Sure, there may not be as much skin, but there's plenty of sexuality implied. Would a kid "miss it" and just enjoy the movie, especially a romantically minded little girl or teenager? I think kids pick up on more than we realize.

You cannot assume that just because a movie is rated G or PG or is one from the '50s it must be OK. We have to watch each movie with a discerning, even a critical, eye, asking, "What message is this movie trying to communicate?"

I'm not a total fundamentalist here on movie watching. I think I was just taken back at how not much as changed at all over the years in Hollywood. And the movie caused me to keep a more watchful eye on what my kids are absorbing in the media. I'm also reminded of the extremely helpful site over at Focus on the Family that reviews media called Plugged In.

Be vigilantly on guard for your family in the culture.

2 comments:

First of all, thank you for visiting my blog. I am curious as to how you found it but thank you for visiting all the same.
I always check out those who check out my blog and I found that we have some things in common - specifically we like some of the same books and entertainment.
We also agree on this particular post about old movies. But, I was disappointed in one post in particular about Vision Forum and Doug Phillips. As a sister in Christ I must admonish your decision to slander your brother in Christ...or rather post of someone else's slandering of a Christian brother.
James 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another brethren.
Eph. 4:1-6 ...walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowlinesss and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, jast as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all...
Eph. 4:29, 31-32 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers...Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you.
Although you might not agree with the view point of others it does no good to the body of Christ to slander or tear down another. When you tear down one you tear down the whole. Instead, if you truly dislike what you see then pray for them rather then debase them in a public forum. Work hard to unite and promote peace. Contact them and share your concern. Isn't this how you would want to be treated?
I do not know Doug Phillips but I do personally know James and Stacy McDonald and RC Sproul Jr (which you would have figured while being on my blog). They do not need my help to promote their good but I feel it is incredibly irresponsible to misrepresent those whom you will spend eternity with. I hope that you will not be counted among those who do not know the full truth and base their assumptions on the opinion of others.
Thank you for your time. I hope you understand that I state all this in Christian love and feel obligated to admonish because of your visit to my blog.
~Heather from
lazydranch8.blogspot.com

June 6, 2008 at 11:55 AM  

Hi Heather-I found your blog from preschoolers and peace and have been praying fervently for you and your family during the last difficult months. I'm thankful the Lord is providing for you so abundantly during this time without your precious husband. I can't imagine your pain, but your example encourages me to persevere in the midst of trials.

I'm glad that we live in a country where one can honestly and forthrightly discuss issues, especially as it pertains to life and godliness.

As I see it, the Prairie Muffin Manifesto and the partiarchy of Vision Forum have some kernals of truth in them. But it is not slander to expose the extra-biblical mandate they set before families.

In 1 John 4 we learn to test the spirits and be discerning as to the false prophets who might be among us. I'm honestly looking at what this movement has to say.

In Acts, the Bereans "search the scriptures daily" to see if what Paul was teaching was true.

That's all I'm doing. We cannot hold ANY man above Scripture as infallible and I feel like some of these men are seen as the end all be all of what it means to be a godly family, especially a homeschooling family.

I think it's just fine for you to live your life and raise your family how you see fit. But I do not think it's OK to be made to feel as though I don't measure up to a standard of femininity or godliness because I don't wear long dresses or because I want my daughter to go to college someday.

My criticism of the movement has to do with what I see as gospel + family integrated church, homeschooling only, no college for daughters, only dresses for women, no birth control of any kind, etc. To me, it's as if these are laws added to the gospel.

My husband DOES lead our family spiritually. We teach our children distinct and wonderful gender roles as created by God. We modestly dress ourselves and our children. We want a large family (I'm pregnant with my fourth baby.) These principles you and I share, it's just that we see them manifested in our families differently and I think that's OK.

I don't sense, from the literature I've read, that your average patriarch would agree with me that it's OK to be different like this.

Of course, I am very familiar with those verses you quoted. I repeat them to myself almost daily as I seek to be a more loving and gentle wife and mother. Yet, these men are very, very public in their opinions and can't seem to take any criticism of anything anyone says about them. And often, I don't sense a loving gentleness in a lot of the things they say.

I appreciate your concern in admonishing me and I'm glad that you feel free to do it because I never claim to be without sin. But I do hope I've explained myself a little better.

In the mean time, I sure have enjoyed all your pictures of your trip across the country and hope we can find enough common ground to enjoy each other's blogs. :)

blessings
julie

June 6, 2008 at 2:37 PM  

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