Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

Back in 2009 in the early days of Ivy Style, I wrote this slightly tongue-in-cheek post about the movie “Dirty Dancing,” and how it showed Hollywood’s bias against clean-cut, Ivy-clad guys on the path to success. In other words, the kind of characters who used to be the good guys.

Flash forward to 2017, and lo and behold it’s the 30th anniversary of the movie. Town & Country just posted an interview with the screenwriter, along with some behind-the-scenes tidbits. You can check it out here.

As for the actor who played Robbie, the Yale student in the film, turns out he wasn’t so clean-cut in real life. Max Cantor, who was also a journalist, died at the age of 32 from a heroin overdose while on assignment for the Village Voice. He was doing a story on drug addiction.

Below are my thoughts from ’09. — CC

* * *

Every so often Hollywood makes a film that perfectly crystallizes the inversion of values that has taken place in America since the 1960s. “Dirty Dancing” —  made in 1987 but set in 1963 — perfectly illustrates the newfound bias against clean-cut, Ivy-type guys who wear madras jackets.

Set at a summer resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains, the movie is a powerful piece of countercultural propaganda that, through the medium of cable television, repeatedly brainwashes American women into thinking that uneducated hunks in leather jackets are preferable to college boys in oxford-cloth buttondowns. Johnny, played by Patrick Swayze, is poor and dresses in all black. He is the film’s hero. Robbie (pictured) wears white bucks and tennis sweaters. He is the film’s villain.

Yeah, try and wrap your head around that one.

Robbie is a Yale med student working a summer job at the resort. Evidently planning to study gynaecology, Robbie has no less than three dalliances during the course of the film. But while Robbie has the collegiate look, he’s no rich kid: Not only is he forced to work as a waiter to pay for med school, his sense of superiority, unsupported by high birth, must seek its justification in the novels of Ayn Rand. At one point Robbie spouts a cynical remark about the superiority of the select few, then whips out a tattered copy of “The Fountainhead.” He’s promptly called a sleazebag.

At the end of the film, the resort’s owner laments how the business has survived two World Wars and the Great Depression, but he isn’t sure he’ll make it through the ’60s.

“It all seems to be ending,” he says wistfully. “You think kids want to come with their parents and take foxtrot lessons?”

71 Comments on "Dirty Rotten Scoundrel"

  1. This is a great article. It’s so true in American movies. It makes me think that the movie directors/writers were picked on, bullied or had some issues with the clean cut “ivy style” type of guys when they were young, and so they wanted to get these guys back by making them look evil in the movies….another swayze movie that shows this bias is “the outsiders.” The Greasers are the poor class and fight the preppie “Socs”. The Socs are portrayed as huge jerks and evil villains, and the movie tries to show the poor Greasers as cool, heroes, etc.
    After living life, I hope most kids realize that these movies are fake…and people SHOULD emulate college type, educated people rather than punks who try to destroy civilized society

  2. Old School | May 10, 2009 at 10:01 pm |

    The barbarians arenot at the gate, they are among us, and have been for a long time. Anything that can help to slow their progress and create a reaction deserves our praise and support. Thanks again, Ivy Style, for fighting the good fight.

  3. Christian | May 10, 2009 at 10:07 pm |

    Thanks, though I feel I should clarify that I actually identify with the Patrick Swayze character.

    For example, I didn’t go to Yale medical school, but I have worked as a ballroom dance instructor. Also, whenever I lock my keys in my car, I have a tendency to smash the window rather than call Triple A.

  4. Old School | May 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm |

    Lest I be accused of linguistic barbarianism, allow me to state for the record that I know that there’s no such word as “arenot” in the English language…at least not yet!
    My apologies.
    Apparently, my eyes are not as good as they once were.

  5. Richard M | May 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm |

    I ditto the comments by Bermuda.

  6. Ralph Kinney Bennett | May 12, 2009 at 9:23 am |

    I understand the enduring reality (and wisdom) of “De gustibus non est disputandum.” And I have lived long enough to know that there are natural- shouldered jerks and polyester-shirted gentlemen. That said, the Ivy/Establishment style never fails and never betrays because it is so rooted in a long-proven, quiet practicality, quality and sensibility which imparts its own authority. That very authority makes it the inevitable target of those (movie makers, it seems, chief among them) who are, in Nat Henthoff’s penetrating phrase, “class voyeurs” — always busy playing the politics of envy and resentment. Thanks, Christian, for pointing out “Dirty Dancing” as a prime example.

  7. Nice article for several reasons A. for highlighting the class envy politics of hollywood as well as B. the inherent wank tendency of your average so called ‘meritocrat.’ This particular villain is perhaps so nasty because of his own crisis of confidence. In my experience real pretension usually arises for individuals who don’t necessarily have the foundation to back up their presumptuously haughty airs.

  8. You’ve approached, but have not quite hit, the target. It’s not just “bias against clean-cut, Ivy-type guys who wear madras jackets” that Hollywood and the rest of the mass media promote; it’s bias against traditional values, Western civilization, and, ultimately, white people themselves. Although this movie is only a minor player in this overarching motif, if you look at society at large, you will see this is a significant thread running through it.

  9. Christian | May 17, 2009 at 12:49 am |

    Tom: Have you read this book “The Rise of the Colored Empires”?

    Nick: Why, no.

    Tom: Well it’s a fine book, and everyone ought to read it.

  10. So, let me get this straight: A guy in an oxford and weejuns is a guy with values. A guy in a leather jacket on a motorbike is devoid of values and wants nothing more that to destroy Western civilization?

    This may be the most trite article I’ve ever read!

  11. I think you’ve got it, Jef.

  12. The preppy rich kid is pretty much the archetypical nemesis of every John Hughes or other 80s teen movie. It’s quite a simple device from a narrative point of view to pit an outsider who is challenging the old guard as the hero (who has to get everything on his own merit), and the representatives of the established privileged class (who live the easy life off daddy’s money and social networks) as the villains. This fits well with American notions of class and meritocracy, individualism and ‘revolutionary/rebellious’ political and economic values.

    That said, John Hughes did a better job than many of his peers who used the trust fund preppy as main rival to the hero for the attentions of the girl by often playing with the fraught nature of cross-clique romance, often featuring the ‘sympathetic’ rich kid (Blane in Pretty in Pink, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) in Some Kind of Wonderful, Jake in Sixteen Candles, Claire in The Breakfast Club).

  13. whats the comedie, where this actor on the picture played??

  14. I’m late to the discussion, but I think Christian is spot on with this realization that Hollywood hates traditional values. They promote the worst in almost all films. It’s been said that a film like Lord of the Rings could never have been made in America these days (too much honor, loyalty and selfless sacrifice). This is also why they absolutely hate and defame Mel Gibson (Braveheart).

    It is most definitely intentional. Their goal is to corrupt our youth and they have done a fine job of it for decades. It has long been their plan to lay the rails for a pathetic multiculturalist society.

    More examples:

    Caddyshack (they destroy the golf club at the end; anti “right of free association” propaganda

    Dead Poets Society (prep kids CAN be “enlightened” –with Marxist ideology!)

    Karate Kid (Rude a-hole Johnny hangs out at country clubs, his preppy ex loves underprivileged Danny; to the films credit, Johnny realizes he’s been wrong at the end and personally hands Danny the karate trophy)

    I just realized I’d have to list almost every teen comedy since 1978 to point out all the twisted messages aimed at kids in films.

    We used to look up our betters and strive to emulate their success. Now youth are being conditioned to despise anyone perceived as better than ourselves. Rich vs poor (and now women vs men via the destructive poison that is feminism) rhetoric and portrayals proves to any thinking man that our media is in the hands on communist lunatics.

    By the way, John Hughes was a prep, and I don’t seen anything in his films that can be called explicitly anti-prep. I do however remember the pinko New York Times criticizing his “lily white view of the world.”

    Preppy clothes, to me, are an outward expression of a persons values. Young girls especially are brainwashed with movies into wanting the rough characters from the wrong side of town and hating the affluent kid who’s going somewhere. The media knows the likely outcome. They love destroying your daughters. They get off on it.

    The portrayal is always thus: underprivileged kid is noble, creative, sensitive, polite and trustworthy; the prep kid is evil, cunning, insensitive, rude and untrustworthy.

    Best thing you could ever do is shield your kids from the media, and even televised sports (weapons of mass distraction). I’ve even gone so far as to explain how the media works, who writes the dialog, how someone with an ideological axe to grind can portray things in any fashion they want. Once you do this Hollywoods power to influence is vastly diminished.

  15. I really hope that most of these achingly earnest-sounding posts are tongue-in-cheek. Movie-makers telling a story are ‘voyeurs’? Shocking! Hollywood directors are bent on destroying Western civilization? Hyperbole much, gentlemen?

    Christian’s AAA comment saves the day. Although I must ask: did you write that original post, Christian? It doesn’t have your “voice”. Or maybe your writing voice has evolved?

  16. No, Paul, it’s not hyperbole. Hollywood and other film-makers have long understood the propaganda value of movies, and are using them to promote specific values at the expense of others.

    Look at Hayes Code-era movies. They have adults acting like adults, childlike children, brave men, feminine women, and moral messages. Although there may be innuendo and suggestion, the violence mostly takes place off-screen, and the love-making is conducted through singing, dancing, virtuous action, and emotional depth. The woman falls for the right man, the brave man wins the day, families come together or stay together, and all is right with the world at the end. All without profanity, blasphemy, or other crass elements.

    Contrast that with the vulgar, violent, nihilistic filth that passes for “entertainment” these days. Movie do not just reflect the culture; they also guide it.

  17. Christian | May 31, 2015 at 3:18 pm |


    Some posts are more irreverent than others.


    Out of curiosity, what are the last half-dozen or so notable movies you’ve watched? Mine are:

    Water For Elephants
    The Fly
    The Imitation Game
    Strangers On A Train
    Rocket Men (astronaut documentary)
    Egypt (BBC documentary)

  18. Ward Wickers | May 31, 2015 at 3:48 pm |

    My sense is that culture evolves and for the most part, movies follow culture. Henry, the way you describe a good movie: “… The woman falls for the right man, the brave man wins the day, families come together or stay together, and all is right with the world at the end. All without profanity, blasphemy, or other crass elements,” frankly sounds boring and more than a bit polly annish.

    In real life, women constantly fall for the wrong man (I know this from personal experience); bravery worked well in WWII but today, corporate and individual greed seem to win the day, or at least much of the wealth; a large percentage of families don’t stay together (divorce rates are high) and the recent trend is that they don’t even come together (the marriage rate is declining in favor of cohabitation); and all isn’t right with the world (Climate Change shows us that). Do you really believe that movies did all that?

  19. marinephil | May 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm |

    I have seen some explanation online somewhere that Karate Kid could really about Daniel ruining Johnny’s aim to straighten up. At the beginning of the movie, one of Johnny’s friends offers him a beer, which Johnny declines. The friend calls him an “ace degenerate,” and Johnny corrects him saying, “EX-degenerate.” He was a punk, but he wants to change his outlook for his senior year. All of that falls apart when he keeps getting into fight after fight with Daniel.

  20. Whit Stillman’s Last Days of Disco on “Lady and the Tramp”: A fluffy blond cockerspaniel falls for an oily jailbird, an all-around sleazeball.


  21. Christian | May 31, 2015 at 6:46 pm |

    Stillman’s inversion of the protagonist-antagonist in “The Graduate” is also funny.

  22. If the media doesn’t have an agenda, why do Americans believe that 25% of the population is gay? 😉

  23. I’ve never been to film school or anything, but instead of trying to “promote specific values”, I always figured that movie-makers were trying to sell tickets. Movies, as with all art (high & low) reflect us in a given time and place.

  24. @WardWickers: maybe What Henry is really advocating is a return to movies as true escapism entertainment: a world where the good guys always win; the “right guy” always gets the “right” girl; virtue always conquers base motive; etc.

    As a break from often from reality, maybe I could get behind it.

  25. Ward Wickers | May 31, 2015 at 9:47 pm |

    @Paul — I can easily think of more enjoyable activities to escape reality. Taking foxtrot lessons would be one high value escapist activity 🙂

  26. Good one on the foxtrot lessons, Ward.

    Have you watched more than a few classic movies, Ward? They are anything but “boring.” Not all genres appeal to all people, but if a person can wean himself from the computer graphics, jiggling body parts, and the constant barage of action! Action! ACTION!!!, then he can discover an incredible world of entertainment.

    In real life, yes, sometimes women fall for the wrong guy—but that happens more now than it did in the past. Does the incessant portrayal of good girls going for bad guys in popular entertainment have anything to do with that? The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the other points one might imagine.

    Escapism in the movies, such as the Venice that never was in Top Hat, has its place, but that’s not what I’m advocating. I’m advocating a return to decency and morality, such as was found during the days of the Hays Code.

    As MAC pointed out, there is an agenda in modern “entertainment” (it’s also why most American think that a quarter of the population is black, when the true figure is more like 12%). That agenda is not just wrong—it is evil.

  27. Christian,

    Recent movies include the following:

    Egypt (miniseries, refreshingly free of PC add-ons)
    The Imitation Game (spoiled by its homosexual advocacy)
    The Little Colonel (with my children—charming!)
    Agatha Christie’s Poirot (some are movie length; all are done well)
    The Prince of Egypt (preparing the children to watch The Ten Commandments)
    Elizabeth R (miniseries—fascinating and compelling)
    His Girl Friday (gripping and hilarious—with only two locations and almost nothing but witty repartee!)

    I also own many classic movies, including all the Astaire & Rogers films, and watch them, usually with my family, quite a bit. On occasion, we even delve into Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and other silent movies.

    As you can see, I keep away from current releases, but don’t avoid them entirely. I used to love going to the movies; now, I can’t stand the noise (always too loud) and the rude moviegoers (noisy and constantly checking their phones, thus lighting up the theater).

  28. MAC & Henry: what’s your source for the assertion that Americans think 25% of the population is either gay or black?

  29. In my opinion these stories seem pretty typical American in their values. They feature an underdog protagonist that pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Sounds like the American dream to me.

  30. Thanks George: the most fascinating part, to me, was that the spread between those identified (self-identified?) as “liberal”, “moderate” and “conservative” was small enough to be almost meaningless, while level of education seemed to have the biggest correlation.

  31. Ward Wickers | June 1, 2015 at 8:40 am |

    A return to the “Hays Code” would prohibit most of Shakespeare. The Hays Code was abandoned long ago because it handcuffed speech and art.

    I don’t want to live under someone’s dictatorial rules about what will be accepted and what will not. Good god, aren’t we beyond that yet? Cloak it under any kind of moral, virtue, goodness argument you want, but that is exactly how communist societies operate.

    And, really, who cares if people think there are more gays than there are. Why is it so important we get that statistic right? I will bet you dollars to donuts that that has much less to do with a nefarious media plot and much more to do with peoples’ tremendously poor abilities to estimate probabilities.

  32. @ Ward Wickers: unfortunately the people who keep talking about “nefarious media plots” seem to be the ones who also keep trying to convince me I should be outraged that there is a “war on Christmas”, or that someone is going to try and take my guns. (I am both a Christian and a gun-owner, and sleep fine at night thanks very much).

    I’ll leave any further correlation between that state-of-affairs, and the education-level issue noted in the Gallup poll, to the rest of the gang here.

  33. Christian | June 1, 2015 at 10:00 am |


    Yes, moviegoers today are more evil than the movies themselves!

    Odd how you could say “The Imitation Game” was “spoiled by homosexual advocacy” considering it’s telling a true story.

  34. Movie goers aren’t evil, they’re just young and gullible. Hence the gallop poll results.

  35. Do you really want to defile Ayn Rand on the day that parts of the despicable P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act expires?

  36. Orange Fiji | June 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm |

    Just to let everyone know, “Robbie” (or the actor portraying him) died of a heroin overdose in 1991. Not to “upper class” IMHO!

  37. John O'Groats | June 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm |

    Who’s Ayn Rand? Did he write the Bill of Rights or something?

  38. The preppy douchebag was a fixture in movies in the 80’s. Given that, I don’t think it was much of a stretch for the audience in ’87 to be convinced that a guy dressed Ivy League was the bad guy.

  39. Christian, I was talking about the unnecessary text at the end. Also, it was based on a true story. The broad brushstrokes are correct, no doubt, but all the dialogue was made up.

  40. The Hays Code did not “handcuff” speech and art; it kept filth out of the theaters. In any case, the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of speech did not apply to movies.

    In the 1920s, many state legislatures were moving to censor movies; by adhering to a voluntary code, the motion picture industry ensured that they were in charge of the standards.

    If you cannot see the difference between a voluntary code that catered to the people’s wants and a Communist dictatorship, well… hyperbole much?

  41. Also, Ward, Hamlet was made a dozen times during the era of the Hays Code, which overlapped nearly exactly with the Golden Age of Hollywood. Mere coincidence?

  42. Ward Wickers | June 2, 2015 at 12:08 am |


    You and I are 180 degrees apart on this and nothing you are saying is making that change. Have you ever read the Hays Code? Here are a few of its nuggets:

    • No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it.
    • Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
    • Sex perversion or any inference to it is forbidden.
    • White slavery shall not be treated.
    • Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races) is forbidden.
    • Scenes of actual child birth, in fact or in silhouette, are never to be presented.
    • Obscenity in word, gesture, reference, song, joke, or by suggestion (even when likely to be understood only by part of the audience) is forbidden. Pointed profanity (this includes the words, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ – unless used reverently – Hell, S.O.B., damn, Gawd), or every other profane or vulgar expression however used, is forbidden.
    • Complete nudity is never permitted.
    • Undressing scenes should be avoided
    • Indecent or undue exposure is forbidden.
    • Dancing or costumes intended to permit undue exposure or indecent movements in the dance are forbidden.
    • Dances suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passions are forbidden.
    • Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villains.

    These are just a handful of its prohibitions. In my world, these are truly frightening. Who decides on “moral standards” and “correct standards?”

    There are always people in every society who want to impose their views and ‘values’ on others and who act to bring that about. We had Eugene McCarthy do that in this country. The Nazis did it to a very extreme degree in Europe. For a current example, I see no difference between these strictures and the censorship of the internet within China’s borders by Chinese Communist officials prohibiting its population from learning about what goes on in the west. Hyperbole? Hardly.

    Fortunately, this code fell by the wayside long ago. What may have seemed relevant in 1920 no longer is and most likely wasn’t even then. Please don’t try to drag us back almost 100 years to another era’s failed ideas. The world has moved far away from that time and place, thankfully.

  43. Etymologue | June 2, 2015 at 1:24 am |

    @Ward Wickers

    I assume you meant Joe McCarthy

    not Eugene McCarthy

  44. The Hayes Codes were basically instigated by the motion picture industry in response to a few states passing laws regulating content. These laws were considered progressive at the time, no surprise New York was the first. Like most progressive laws, they are in response to the whims of upper class and upper middle class white women.

    Interestingly, very few movies were ever effected.

  45. Yes, we are far apart on this, Ward, and you shall never convince me that our current sorry state is superior to what we once had but so casually discarded.

    The values represented in the Hays Code reflected the values of most Americans at the time. It was a time when, by and large, people were decent. The moral standards and “correct standards” were those of society at large, and while I would agree that some of the restrictions might seem a bit much for many adults, they were written with both adults and children in mind. (As a father, I have to keep a careful eye on what entertainment my children are exposed to. I never worry about classic movies that they are interested in, but I can’t trust modern “family” movies to be free of disturbing themes and images.)

    What’s allowed now in the movies reflects our society: gory violence, rampant sex, every imaginable perversion, and no cow too sacred to keep off of the sacrificial altar of “entertainment.” Are we really better off because we can watch something as lurid as Pulp Fiction?

    We live in a sick, twisted society. We can’t turn back the clock, and no one is suggesting we do. Having said that, our ancestors knew how to maintain a civil society; it’s clear we do not.

    Oh, and let us again remember that the Hays Code was VOLUNTARY (sorry for yelling, but Ward doesn’t seem to have gotten that point). Some movies were released without approval. Contrast this to the government-imposed restrictions of the Communists and Nazis. Also, the invocation of Joseph McCarthy is inapposite, as McCarthy was responding to the very real threat of Communist subversion, which really did happen. The Soviets were actively trying to infiltrate our government and society to destroy it, and they did get operatives into sensitive and influential positions. This has nothing to do with voluntary adherence to a code regulating the content of movies.

  46. Henry: your protestations aside, it sounds like you’ve got the same goal I do – to find a time machine and get in it; mine just has the clock set to 1987; yours sounds like it’s set for 1957.

  47. Christian | June 2, 2015 at 2:11 pm |

    Or 1857.

  48. Ward Wickers | June 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm |

    @ Henry

    The remarkable thing about the Hays Code from my reading of its history is that it was a clever political stratagem to evade serious governmental regulation, which arose, by the way, because Hollywood was viewed as a “moral quagmire” at the time. It was the Roaring Twenties, after all, and movie directors were discovered to be bisexual, actors were accused of murder, children were involved in things they shouldn’t have been involved in (animals, probably, too), there were lots and lots and lots of wild & crazy parties, and multiple drug overdoses caused several deaths. Licentiousness was all over Tinsel Town.

    Kinda sounds like the way you describe today’s state of affairs, Henry, doesn’t it?

    Well, not surprisingly, moralists, religious leaders and ethicists started imposing local censorship on the movies. Hays realized this would be fatal. So, to avoid real censorship, Hays developed a VOLUNARY code (yes, Henry, I did get that it was putatively voluntary). So, from the history, it’s really not true that the Code reflected the values of most Americans at the time and that the standards were of the society at large; rather, what it represented was an effective political response to vociferous opposition groups who had the power to take away Hollywood’s cookies. Sounds just like the politics of today, to me.

    All that history of political artiface and bisexual directors aside, you have to admit one thing: the bloody thing failed. Hollywood was a moral quagmire at the time it was created, and now, 100 years later, Hollywood is still promoting filth and trying to convince us that there are more gays than actually exist. Crikey, it’s gotten worse!

    So, here’s a question: What makes you think that what was supposed to work 100 years ago but failed so miserably is going to work now when things are as “sick” and “twisted” as they are today?

  49. Sorry for the long delay in my response.

    First, Ward’s implicit assertion that things were as bad then as they are now is a common error. Yes, there has always been perversion, immoral behavior, etc.; no, our early 20th century ancestors did not engage in such activities to the extent that we, as a society, do now. Having said that, it does appear that Hollywood was, and remains, a hotbed of such activity, relative to society at large.

    The point of the Hays Code was not, as Ward seems to imply, to get people in Hollywood to behave. It was to keep motion pictures from promoting images and values that ran counter to those accepted and promoted by American society at large. People understood then, in a way that only a small fraction of people understand now, that what we see does affect our morals, and that images, once seen, cannot be unseen. Yes, “vociferous” opposition groups were prime motivators, but those groups enjoyed the popular support of millions of Americans.

    “you have to admit one thing: the bloody thing failed”

    This is completely wrong. It’s not about Hollywood the physical location and its denizens; it’s about the movies made there. As noted above, the Golden Age of Hollywood and the era of the Hayes Code overlapped precisely—and this is no coincidence. Consider one of the greatest movies of all time, made during the heyday of the era: Casablanca. Apparently, in the original screenplay, Rick and Ilsa consummated their illicit love, but the office that enforced the Code wouldn’t allow it—and we have that powerful ending instead.

    “What makes you think that what was supposed to work 100 years ago but failed so miserably”

    Wrong again. Far from failing “so miserably,” the Hays Code ensured that nearly all of the movies made in Hollywood adhered to standards that promoted values nearly all Americans embraced.

    The left recognizes the power of movies to influence people; it’s why they made the motion picture industry one of their prime targets. While you are correct in saying that movies can reflect the culture at large, they can also guide it. It is precisely because our society is so sick and twisted (no scare quotes necessary) that we need morally-uplifting entertainment, rather than the nihilistic, violent, pornographic, and vapid sewage that Hollywood churns out.

    As it so happens, I was reminded of the exchange here when I read this essay: More on Movies and the Moral Imagination. A representative quote:

    “Americans today cannot write or produce motion pictures comparable to those from the 1930s-’40s-’50s because they do not have the moral-philosophical frame of mind and worldview – encompassing an entire set of moral, intellectual, and esthetic standards – that they had in those years. Modernists think that is cause for celebration. I think it is cause for revulsion. I think also that the moral-esthetic tone of modern motion pictures is proof all by itself that Americans have willingly entered a new Dark Age.”

    Worth a read.

  50. Oh, shoot. CC, would you fix my html for me, please, and close the italics after “Casablanca”?

  51. A 21st century Teen | January 25, 2016 at 7:14 am |

    I don’t claim to be an expert on any of these topics, but I am a film student so I’m genuinely interested in the media aspects of this discussion. I know this is a very late contribution, but reading these comments has made me want to say few words…

    @ Henry, Hamlet may have been performed during the Hays Code but Shakespeare’s plays contain sexual references but they get away with it because they often go over the heads of modern audiences. Many of Shakespeare’s plays contain violence, but I suppose you can get around that if you use the Errol Flynn technique. But then there’s Titus Andronicus, a play featuring a mixed-race relationship resulting in a mixed-race baby (I’m mixed race, so I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but the code prohibits depictions of this), cutting off a person’s hands and tongue, 14 killings, rape and cannibalism. Morality at it’s finest.

    Also, on The Imitation Game: the statement at the end was hardly anything. Is the fact that a war hero got chemically castrated for being gay and later committed suicide because of it not worth mentioning?
    Should they not have mentioned his homosexuality at all? As you said, biopics take broad brushstrokes but I think his mental state and the circumstances surrounding his death was an important part of his story.

    @ Niko, you say The Lord of the Rings could never have been made in America today? Peter Jackson is from New Zealand, it was mostly filmed in New Zealand and as for new Tolkien adaptations…*cough* The Hobbit *cough*.
    As for Braveheart, the historical accuracy of it has been criticized and even Mel Gibson himself admitted the film was mostly fictitious. Sure, you can still enjoy it as a work of fiction but well, yeah, it’s a work of fiction. Good, noble people exist in real life but so do terrible depraved people. If films didn’t show this they would be even less realistic than they already are.

    In conclusion, while movies shouldn’t stereotype all WASPs as are inbred, obnoxious snob villains (or old curmudgeons who can’t accept that the 1950’s are over) it doesn’t help your case much when you are so out of touch with modern life. I love old movies – I happened to see His Girl Friday recently and it was great – but I also loved Pulp Fiction. I like vintage style, art and architecture but I also like many modern things. Honestly, aside from the insanely tiny shirt collars that are popular right now, I’m mostly glad I live in the 21st century.

    I spent way too much time on this.

  52. This is a great article about an important issue but the comments on this post take the cake.

  53. Most notably, the somewhat prophetic, yet slightly exaggerated, first comment by Henry.

  54. Perhaps today they should be making films that showcase “rebel” Trads and Preppies trying to free themselves from the shackles of pretentious hipster judgement and conformity.

  55. For once, I agree with Henry and GS. We should only have films that advance the interests of whites. Unfortunately, that will be difficult so long as (((hollywood))) is making them.

    Glad to see Henry is not a full blown cuck, regardless of his poorly conceived understanding of art, culture and economics.

  56. Winds of Wakiki | February 10, 2017 at 8:09 pm |


    You need to bring the Hayes Code to the White House — Hayes Code Rule #1: No multiple immigrant wives. Rule #2: No grabbing pu$$y, Rule #3: No colluding with the Russians to swing elections (that’s a coup d’etate!). Rule #4: No killing 8-year-old girls just because their father is a terrorist. Rule #5: No hiding the tax returns. Rule #6: No banning people from entering the US on religious criteria. Rule #7: No putting Nazi While Supremacists on the National Security Counsel. Rule #8: No having your subordinates promote your daughter’s business. Rule #9: No trashing the Constitution. And, Rule #10: No lying about, well, just about everything.

    Nonetheless, I’ll bet you voted for him, didn’t you?

  57. Very interesting article. CC has subtly drawen the reader’s attention to the very current deep divisions among the American people. Any doubt — at last count 58 comments! Very impressive piece of writing.

  58. “Goy,” you are misconstruing my partial support of Henry’s comments. I am no white supremacist I simply believe that Hollywood has been pumping out filth lately and it has seemingly made people turn their backs on American values, when they once promoted them. Also, I like Henry’s arguement for a return to morality as it is long gone in society, partially due to Hollywood influence.

  59. Carmelo Pugliatti | February 11, 2017 at 10:15 am |

    Hollywood guys from 70s are damned liberals.

  60. Winds of Wakiki

    Grow up, all politicians are liars. Not sure why you mention no ” immigrant wives “, bet you’re for open borders. You seem to know less about the US Constitution than the the 9th Circuit,and even less of what an actual Nazi is.
    I voted for Tump early and often, I support your derangement, the left’ hair on fire lunacy and the democrats’ impotence. Keep up the good work, you’ll just get more Trump.

  61. For years now whenever I check Netflix for movies to add to my queue, I’m struck by how many films have some kind of contract killer as the protagonist.

  62. True, on cable it seems to be zombies or vampires.

  63. Henry Contestwinner | February 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm |


    Hear, hear!

    CC, Mac,

    Popular entertainment reflects its culture. Why for the zombie mania? Perhaps it’s because there are so many zombie-like people, attacking en masse, unthinkingly, to destroy others’ brains, just as “progressives” seek to destroy anyone they disagree with and convert others to their views. Vampires suck the lifeblood out of others, and even turn their victims into creatures like themselves—also just like “progressives.” Contract killers methodically seek their victims to destroy them, just as the left intentionally targets its victims and tries to destroy them.

    In addition to these villains, Hollywood also portrays WASPs and preppies and the like as evil (original post), engaging in all kinds of unsavory behavior. However, as it turns out, they are projecting their own behavior on to others. Look closely and you will see this, time and time again. Here’s a specific example from real life:

    Black Representative John Lewis accused Tea Party protesters of calling him and other black Congressmen the N-word at an anti-Obamacare rally in 2010. Despite hundreds people with video-capable cell phones being present, despite Andrew Breitbart promising a donation of $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund if anyone could produce a video of the event, no supporting evidence ever surfaced.

    Black Senator Tim Scott has been called (via Twitter, e-mail, etc.), repeatedly, the N-word, a piece of “fertilizer,” a house negro, and no doubt many other things. Evidence exists in

    In one case, a black man accuses others of calling him the N-word, but even though the accusation is false, people were up in arms about it. In the other case, a black man actually was called the N-word, but all we hear is crickets. Why the difference? Because Lewis is (D) and Scott is (R). The liberal Lewis accused others of doing exactly what other liberals do: insult blacks by using the N-word. It also shows where the actual “disparate impact” can be found.

  64. Why do you feel like writing about all that and why do you have to do it here?

  65. Henry Contestwinner | February 14, 2017 at 1:46 am |

    There was discussion of what is portrayed in the movies, and how characters are portrayed, including the inversion of traditional morality and good guy/bad guy roles. There was dismissal of my analysis, and I wanted to show evidence for it.

    If you feel this is inappropriate content for Ivy-Style, please delete it. I’m certain the deletion of my comment would freshen up the place, much as an open window clears the air.

  66. Henry:

    Sometimes an open window will not clear the air. Especially if a skunk has recently been around your house.

  67. Henry Contestwinner | February 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm |

    Good one, H!

  68. Henry;

    Thank you. When someone challenges a man’s position on an issue it can be inferred to be an insult. A wise old Judge once told me that every insult does not call for a response. Sometimes an educated man should simply not dignify a challenge to his opinion with a response. Just my opinion.

  69. Lucas Molina | February 19, 2017 at 6:51 pm |

    Hi, just to throw this one out there. If i remember, the reason he is (as close to one) a villain (if I remember, most of the movie is more devoted to setting up an elderly couple as larger antagonists) is the fact that, he is the last one for whom you would suspect.

    The main part of his arc, if you could call it that, Is that he is revealed to have raped one of the main characters friends, while at the same time trying to get in good with the main characters family. He is able to do this by being almost on the same social standing as the father (who had a similar backstory).

    This ends up being part of the larger narrative of the main character disabusing herself from the preconceived notions and naivete that she had at the beginning of the film I.e. the sweet elderly couple are in fact career pickpockets and con artists, bringing the evidence that Johnny wasn’t involved in any wrongdoing still doesn’t prevent him from getting fired,…

    In fact, the fact he is a villain is more for the movie to work, not as a tired trope.

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