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methodwriter85

Well, That Wouldn't Work Now: Things From Movies That Are Outdated or No Longer Politically Correct

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I was watching Mrs. Doubtfire the other day, and it bleeped out the part where the son describes Mrs. Doubtfire as being"he's a she-she". I had never heard that bit get bleeped out before, but then I figured that it's not really a politically correct anymore.

So that made me think about elements of older movies that wouldn't work now if you were to try and make the movie now, either because it's outdated or because it's politically incorrect. (I don't want to include period movies like Dirty Dancing or Gone With the Wind.)  Some bits I can think of off the top of my head...

The whole "moving to Manhattan" storyline of Saturday Night Fever. It just wouldn't be doable now for people like Stephanie and Tony.

There are no longer soap operas being filled in New York City, so that element of Tootsie would have to be changed.

I'd like to think that Andy Hardy's impersonation of a Japanese man in Breakfast at Tiffany's would never happen now, but I'm not so sure.

Edited by methodwriter85
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2 hours ago, tinaw said:

Trading places is a law suit waiting to happen

If you mean the heroes' plan at the climax, that was illegal at the time too.

Movies made in the 30s and 40s often hinge a lot of the plot on trains and boats being the main means of long-distance travel -- particularly, in the case of boats, for any sort of trans-Atlantic crossing.  In the screwball comedy, scenes set in a train sleeper car are stock, for instance.  While trains, etc. are still around, they're nowhere near as important as they used to be, and as a means of long-distance travel nobody goes by boat anymore unless they're on a cruise ship where the destination isn't really the point.  Numerous scenes on boats and rail would be impossible on an airplane (or long-distance highway driving).

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I can't even begin to count the number of comedies and dramas up to the last 20 years which had plots that entirely hinged upon mistaken identities. Now a simple search engine on the 'Net not only would spell out who's who but also spell out marital and employment status- to say nothing of fave socks! LOL

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18 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

The entire movies of Airplane I and II

And yes, Blazing Saddles, both come to mind. 

Which is a shame because they are both so damn funny

Yeah, there is no way in hell a wide-release major film would show a scene of an adult hitting on a child for laughs. It wouldn't happen.

I thought about this topic because people are talking so much about Home Alone right now because it's Christmas, and it made me think about the fact that you could NEVER make this movie now. The plot itself doesn't make sense in a post-9/11 environment- there's no rushing to an airport with just minutes to spare now, because everything and anything is checked. The cartoon violence of the movie wouldn't fly too well with modern sensibilities. And of course, everybody would be screaming for Child Protective services.

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well there were plenty of problems with home alone even in 1991. 

And now everyone has a cell phone, you'd just call them.  Or Kevin would call his parents when they forget him. 

I assumed the trading places comments about lawsuits were more in regard to wrongful termination, planting of evidence, many things the Dukes did to many people in the company 

Those things were illegal then too but probably not as likely to have anything done about them

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What's especially ironic is that in   the Star Trek movies set in the distant future, there was no internet. Yes, they had very complex computers, data banks and even holograph simulation rooms but no chat rooms, Kindle or YouTube (or the equivalents) for characters to waste time entertain and communicate with each other.

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The climax of Silence of the Lambs wouldn't have happened if Clarice had a cell phone.

There's also a zero percent chance they'd present Buffalo Bill the same way.  No way would people tolerate A) the fact that orientation and gender identity are treated as the same thing, B) not more clearly spelling out that Bill is NOT trans.  I wouldn't be surprised if the movie as is wouldn't be re-rated as NC-17 or toned down to maintain an R.  Or that the studio wouldn't go one step farther and dumb it down to PG-13.

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On 12/24/2016 at 5:26 PM, methodwriter85 said:

 

like to think that Andy Hardy's impersonation of a Japanese man in Breakfast at Tiffany's would never happen now, but I'm not so sure.

I think you mean Mickey Rooney (Andy Hardy was a character of his from a different movie).

Not that it should've been made at the time, but I don't think you could make Soul Man (AKA the movie where C Thomas Howell ODs on tanning pills in order to win a scholarship to Harvard for African-American men) now. I don't even think anyone would touch it.  I'm also guessing if Sixteen Candles was made now, both Long Duk Dong and the rape-undertones of the scenes with Anthony Michael Hall would be taken out.

Another movie I think wouldn't get made now, because of the unfortunate high rise in school shootings and violence, is Heathers. Even knowing it's (very good) satire, I don't think a studio would touch it with a 10 foot pole. 

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Yes, that's a good point.  Both Sixteen Candles and also Revenge of the Nerds, where the nerdy guy tricks the cheerleader into having sex with him by pretending to be her boyfriend, wouldn't be allowed today. 

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I can watch without guilt movies that might be not "politically correct" nowadays because I understand historical context and can acknowledge changes in attitudes without imposing my modern sensibilities on them. 

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I wonder if Dirty Dancing where Penny has an abortion would get made today.   Although,  Penny is a supporting character,  her abortion is pretty essential to the movie because it impacts the main characters and pushes various events forward.  

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On December 24, 2016 at 6:26 PM, methodwriter85 said:

There are no longer soap operas being filled in New York City, so that element of Tootsie would have to be changed.

I don't know if you could do Tootsie at all today.  People would get suspicious when they couldn't find Dorothy Michaels on the Google.

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7 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

I can watch without guilt movies that might be not "politically correct" nowadays because I understand historical context and can acknowledge changes in attitudes without imposing my modern sensibilities on them. 

Even in the 60s, we knew better than putting a character in yellow-face.

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Anything John Wayne ever said to a woman in one of his movies. 

I would say that casual racism, played for laughs, wouldn't be allowed today... but then I remembered Michael Bay movies.

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On 12/26/2016 at 6:46 AM, starri said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the movie as is wouldn't be re-rated as NC-17 or toned down to maintain an R. 

Studios have continuously pushed the edge of what's allowed in an R-rated film, so I can't imagine that something that was rated R in 1991 would warrant a higher rating today.

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17 minutes ago, starri said:

I dunno, there is a lot of deeply fucked up shit in SotL 

Well, sure, but ratings have grown more permissive with time, not less (compare PG-13 now to PG-13 at the time).

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The first thing that came to mind was Pillow Talk, where a telephone party line is central to the plot. Also that Rock Hudson is a playboy who adopts a gay alter ego--ironic given what we know about him now! There's also the "single career women are really desperately lonely and want a husband, even when they say they're happy" trope. Unfortunately, I can't decide if this is dated or not.

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26 minutes ago, GreekGeek said:

The first thing that came to mind was Pillow Talk, where a telephone party line is central to the plot. Also that Rock Hudson is a playboy who adopts a gay alter ego--ironic given what we know about him now! There's also the "single career women are really desperately lonely and want a husband, even when they say they're happy" trope. Unfortunately, I can't decide if this is dated or not.

Not really:

I don't care if it's dumb or not, I would give my left nut to go on a road trip with Matthew Goode wearing a cableknit sweater.

Back to Breakfast at Tiffany's...I think they'd have to change the backstory to Doc and Lula Mae. The idea of a 13-year old girl getting married to an old man just wouldn't sit well, and Doc would be decried as a pedophile and not sympathetic at all. I think either they would up Lula's age at the time they got married while bringing down Doc's to say James Marsden-age. Or they would change the relationship to him basically adopting her and her brother.

I keep getting surprised when remembering that Holly is only supposed to be 19 in the movie. Audrey looked young for her age (early 30's), but not THAT young.

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18 hours ago, Princess Sparkle said:

Another movie I think wouldn't get made now, because of the unfortunate high rise in school shootings and violence, is Heathers. Even knowing it's (very good) satire, I don't think a studio would touch it with a 10 foot pole. 

They're adapting Heathers into a TV show. I wonder if they will address the violence.

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17 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

I wonder if Dirty Dancing where Penny has an abortion would get made today.   Although,  Penny is a supporting character,  her abortion is pretty essential to the movie because it impacts the main characters and pushes various events forward.  

Not sure why it wouldn't.  Abortion was legal in the 1980s when the film was made, though not legal in the 1950s when it occurred.  And if anything abortion has more support now than back then in the 1980s.

Just not sure what has changed with the abortion debate in the last 30 years to change that outcome. 

18 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

I can watch without guilt movies that might be not "politically correct" nowadays because I understand historical context and can acknowledge changes in attitudes without imposing my modern sensibilities on them. 

Most people can, I would think 

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4 hours ago, SeanC said:

Well, sure, but ratings have grown more permissive with time, not less (compare PG-13 now to PG-13 at the time).

With violence, sure.  Not so much with sexual stuff.

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7 hours ago, calliope1975 said:

They're adapting Heathers into a TV show. I wonder if they will address the violence.

It's not a straight remake, from what I understand. It's basically an anthology series that will follow a mean group of girls named Heather, changing the group each season. It sounds like it might be more along the lines of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. You can get away with more on cable t.v. these days than you can with mainstream movies, but I don't hold out that much hope for violence.

Yeah, Pretty Baby would never get made today. It's the same reason why Lolita always casts a girl who's at least 15 or 16 to play the tile role instead of an 11-year girl.

I think they could probably get away with the kiss with Claudia in The Interview with the Vampire because it's an R-rated movie and her relationship with Brad Pitt never really felt that sexual, but it's still questionable.

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On 12/26/2016 at 0:45 AM, Blergh said:

I can't even begin to count the number of comedies and dramas up to the last 20 years which had plots that entirely hinged upon mistaken identities. Now a simple search engine on the 'Net not only would spell out who's who but also spell out marital and employment status- to say nothing of fave socks! LOL

At first glance I agreed, then thought that I'm sure there would be ways to create a completely fake identity using internet as a vehicle to give it more credence. Then again, that's more fake identity than mistaken identity, but I could imagine a scenario where one character disappeared as a child and someone else pretends to be that child decades later.

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17 hours ago, starri said:

With violence, sure.  Not so much with sexual stuff.

There are tons of shows on TV that are at least as graphic as anything in Silence of the Lambs.

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20 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

Not sure why it wouldn't.  Abortion was legal in the 1980s when the film was made, though not legal in the 1950s when it occurred.  And if anything abortion has more support now than back then in the 1980s.

Just not sure what has changed with the abortion debate in the last 30 years to change that outcome. 

Most people can, I would think 

Like I said, Hadley Freeman wrote about this at length.  Her argument is that films are far more conservative about abortion NOW than back when Dirty Dancing was made.  See all the films where the protagonist will discuss an abortion but not have one, like Juno.  What Hollywood films do you know of where a character has an abortion?

Legal support and what happens in Hollywood film are not always parallel.

It reminds me of sometimes how I watch television from the 80s, and the white protagonist like Stephanie from Full House or Sophia Petrillo in Golden Girls will have a romance with an Asian man (boy in Stephanie's case) and it's treated like normal, sweet and romantic.  I'm trying to figure out likewise parallels that came after that.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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3 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Like I said, Hadley Freeman wrote about this at length.  Her argument is that films are far more conservative about abortion NOW than back when Dirty Dancing was made.  See all the films where the protagonist will discuss an abortion but not have one, like Juno.  What Hollywood films do you know of where a character has an abortion?

It's an indie movie, but 2014's Obvious Child shows a young woman opt for terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

Interestingly, women on TV series are more likely to have abortions.

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I am curious about how they will be doing the new seriesof Anne Rice's  'The Vampire Chronicles', the coded sexuality that made it really popular when I was a teenager is kind of unnecessary now.

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56 minutes ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

Revolutionary Road, a woman gives herself on abortion. 

Revolutionary Road was set in the past, when abortions were illegal, but oddly enough home abortion kits were available. Also, 

Spoiler

the woman dies, in keeping with the line of thinking that women who have abortions must be punished.

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21 hours ago, GreekGeek said:

Revolutionary Road was set in the past, when abortions were illegal, but oddly enough home abortion kits were available. Also, 

  Reveal hidden contents

the woman dies, in keeping with the line of thinking that women who have abortions must be punished.

As I already pointed out, Dirty Dancy was also set in the past when abortion was illegal.  Its almost the exact same situation and consequences, except in Dirty Dancy Jerry Orbach save's the girl in questions after the illegal abortion.  They are both movies made at a time when abortion is legal but set at a time when it was illegal.  And they occur in basically the same time frame of American history, the 1950s. 

You can argue about the message of these actions in the movie, but that was not the question at hand.  The question at hand was if a movie made today could depict an abortion in the same way or if the viewpoint like that of an abortion is anachronism of the culture of the 1980s that would not be allowed today.  Since Revolutionary Road was made in 2008 with a very similar abortion storyline, I view it as a pretty strong counterexample to that part of Dirty Dancing not making it in the movie today. 

Plus there are going efforts for a remake of Dirty Dancing, first a theater based movie and now a TV movie  No details have been released but there has been no mention in this process of the script being adjust based on that part of the story

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For the record, Dirty Dancing lost Clearasil as a corporate sponsor when it first came out, because the filmmakers refused to cut the abortion scene from the movie. So there was some controversy as to whether or not they should include that scene back in 1987. 

(And the movie was set in 1963, not the 50's.)

The blackface scene in Holiday Inn. I LOVE this movie as a whole, but that tribute to Lincoln in blackface would NOT fly today. 

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1 hour ago, UYI said:

The blackface scene in Holiday Inn. I LOVE this movie as a whole, but that tribute to Lincoln in blackface would NOT fly today. 

Any movie with blackface scenes would not fly today. I was watching That's Entertainment on TCM last night and one of those Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland "let's put on a show" movies had a blackface number and I could barely sit through it. Kinda glad those wouldn't fly today.

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3 hours ago, jah1986 said:

Any movie with blackface scenes would not fly today. I was watching That's Entertainment on TCM last night and one of those Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland "let's put on a show" movies had a blackface number and I could barely sit through it. Kinda glad those wouldn't fly today.

I would add the Blackfish from the "Under The Sea" number in The Little Mermaid. It's like one second of the whole thing (at 2:07), but it always jumped out at me. I thought it was hilarious at 8/9 years old , then found myself mortified rewatching it in college. I can only imagine someone figured they'd sneak a flash of racism in there and nobody would notice..

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I'm debating if Sleeping with the Enemy could work now. This world is so connected with background checks and social media, but it does sound like people can still get away with starting new identities somewhere else. I'm not sure Sarah could have gotten a job at the university library with no background check or references, but they did suggest they pulled strings.

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On 12/24/2016 at 10:36 PM, SeanC said:

If you mean the heroes' (in Trading Places) plan at the climax, that was illegal at the time too.

Trading commodities using insider information from government sources was legal until the passage of Dodd Frank a couple of years ago. The law contains a regulation now referred to as the "Eddie Murphy Rule." 

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30 minutes ago, xaxat said:

Trading commodities using insider information from government sources was legal until the passage of Dodd Frank a couple of years ago. The law contains a regulation now referred to as the "Eddie Murphy Rule." 

Well, don't worry, the Republican Congress will restore the integrity of the plot of Trading Spaces in short order.

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23 hours ago, UYI said:

For the record, Dirty Dancing lost Clearasil as a corporate sponsor when it first came out, because the filmmakers refused to cut the abortion scene from the movie. So there was some controversy as to whether or not they should include that scene back in 1987. 

(And the movie was set in 1963, not the 50's.)

The blackface scene in Holiday Inn. I LOVE this movie as a whole, but that tribute to Lincoln in blackface would NOT fly today. 

 You're right about that rather tasteless scene (which ALSO had the leading lady put her hair in bizarre pigtails to make fun of how some folks of African descent wore their hair)- and even back THEN it was not something put in to boost the morale of African-American moviegoers but to amuse tacky, racist,rude white moviegoers [who WOULD have known they were being tacky and rude even if they denied they were being racist].

   As for Dirty Dancing? The ironic thing is that moviegoers were supposed to jeer at the jerk who got Cynthia Rhodes's character pregnant and left her high and dry and cheer Patrick Swayze's Johnny character. However; 1963 the Pill had only recently put on the market and the movie made it  clear that Johnny wasn't a choirboy  but audiences were rooting for him to do more than just hug and kiss Jennifer Grey's character and she could have as EASILY gotten pregnant as Cynthia Rhodes's character under those conditions in that time and place. Yet, evidently by 1987, audiences had forgotten that there it was more than paternal false pride re why Baby's father wouldn't want a fly-by-night crooner making his moves on his younger daughter.

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A lot of the early Disney films wouldn't make the cut.  Everybody always mentions Song of the South first, but I've never understood why only that one is worth being locked away (only in the United States, because I guess it's not racist anywhere else).  The minstrel show crow (disgustingly named Jim Crow) is almost worse, and Peter Pan goes for the double-whammy of both racist AND sexism.

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