DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

by Kathryn Leigh Scott & Jim Pierson

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DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby Liz » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:40 am

Pg. 175. On May 1, 1970, after six grueling weeks, the first Dark Shadows movie completed principal photography. While the actors went back to taping the television show, Curtis and film editor Arline Garson began to cut the hours and hours of raw footage into a cohesive form. In order to deliver a flashy, relentless, slam-bang film, Curtis deleted several scenes and shortened many others. Reportedly after a test screening, a controversial sequence was dropped entirely—in this scene young David Collins is found hanged in Maggie’s closet, a noose around his neck-a prank David plays on her in the opening scenes of the move. “The audience at the screening was quite astonished by the amount of violence in the film,” remembers Kathryn Leigh Scott. Jonathan Frid, who has always favored subtlety, was not pleased with the gory, relentless nature of the film, and voiced his displeasure in press interviews at the time. “It was one sledge-hammer scene after another.” Ironically, the success of the film seems to have had a negative effect on the long-running television series. After parents saw the more bloody and violent House of Dark Shadows, some over-reacted by forbidding their children to watch the television episodes, apparently fearing the ABC-TV daytime presentation was equally horrific. In fact, some ABC affiliates began to drop the soap opera around this time and the impact of House of Dark Shadows has been attributed as a motivating factor.

Could the movie that was supposed to bolster a TV show that didn’t really need bolstering have actually contributed to its demise?

Do we have a different view of violence today? Are we desensitized?

And what about the implications of false impressions or bad press?
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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:48 am

I think we have become de-sensitized to many things, not just violence. Husband and I were discussing that this morning with regard to the Penn State coach conviction of abuse and whether or not such incidences have increased over the years. :-/ Not only do we see more violence in video games, television, movies, and internet, but many things that were formerly taboo have become an accepted part of daily life. For better or worse, much of the shock value is gone.

And you only have to look at what happened with "pink slime" added to beef -- which had been used safely for years -- to realize the power of the negative press -- again, for better or frequently for worse.

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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:54 pm

:highfive: Well said Nebraska...

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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby Liz » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:01 pm

Well, don’t get me started on the whole Penn State thing. :soapbox: I think the less-than reaction to these incidences by the Penn State community a few months back was very disturbing to me…..much more disturbing than anything that could have shown on House of Dark Shadows.
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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:47 am

If people were not familiar with the tv series and just went to see the movie I can see how that may have colored their view of the series. I also think parents had more control over what their children watched then simply because there was less out there to watch, fewer channels, no internet, etc.

I think as a culture we have become more accepting of seeing violence and separating ourselves from the reality of it. I would like to hope we haven't become so desensitized that we enjoy it and would hope we still find it abhorrent. Again, with access to more information and choices in tv, movies, video games, music, etc., it is everywhere. I read somewhere that on of the cultural turning points was the Viet Nam War. It was the first war to be covered by television and brought the brutality and violence into the living rooms of America.
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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby shadowydog » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:25 pm

nebraska wrote:I think we have become de-sensitized to many things, not just violence. Husband and I were discussing that this morning with regard to the Penn State coach conviction of abuse and whether or not such incidences have increased over the years. :-/ Not only do we see more violence in video games, television, movies, and internet, but many things that were formerly taboo have become an accepted part of daily life. For better or worse, much of the shock value is gone.

And you only have to look at what happened with "pink slime" added to beef -- which had been used safely for years -- to realize the power of thenegative press-- again, for better or frequently for worse.



This is not a new phenomenom. Look back in history to "Yellow Journalism" and writers like Sinclair Lewis. I did a research paper in college on the election campaign where Thomas Jefferson was elected president. I compared two New Jersey newspapers articles....on opposing Jefferson, one supoporting him. :yikes: :fear: Very eye opening.
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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby shadowydog » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:31 pm

What is interesting is the fact that the story line in that movie followed the original script for Barnabas in the soap. His story line changed as he became more popular. It would have been interesting to see where the soap would have gone if the Barnabas story had followed the original story line.
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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:49 pm

shadowydog wrote:
nebraska wrote:I think we have become de-sensitized to many things, not just violence. Husband and I were discussing that this morning with regard to the Penn State coach conviction of abuse and whether or not such incidences have increased over the years. :-/ Not only do we see more violence in video games, television, movies, and internet, but many things that were formerly taboo have become an accepted part of daily life. For better or worse, much of the shock value is gone.

And you only have to look at what happened with "pink slime" added to beef -- which had been used safely for years -- to realize the power of thenegative press-- again, for better or frequently for worse.



This is not a new phenomenom. Look back in history to "Yellow Journalism" and writers like Sinclair Lewis. I did a research paper in college on the election campaign where Thomas Jefferson was elected president. I compared two New Jersey newspapers articles....on opposing Jefferson, one supoporting him. :yikes: :fear: Very eye opening.

That would be interesting to see.
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Re: DS Question #8 - Violence on Film

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:51 pm

shadowydog wrote:What is interesting is the fact that the story line in that movie followed the original script for Barnabas in the soap. His story line changed as he became more popular. It would have been interesting to see where the soap would have gone if the Barnabas story had followed the original story line.

I'm not quite sure I follow. Are you saying that it would be interesting to see where the soap would have gone if all the convoluted plots with parallel time, etc. had not been introduced?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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