Shunning Movies Made by Immoral People

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People who know me know I love the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and they’re always surprised to find out I’ve never seen the Lord of the Rings movies. Well, I don’t want to give any of my time or any of my money to Ian MacKellan, an unrepentant homosexual who brags about defacing Bibles. He plays Gandalf. That’s something I like to forget when I read the books.

So I can appreciate what some of you are saying when you say you don’t want to watch movies made by immoral people. We all have a suspicion, though, that that would rule out most movies. If you’re looking for virtue, Hollywood is probably not the place to start.

I do try to avoid movies that I know have been made by really sleazy people. But it’s not always so simple. In fact, God sometimes uses really sleazy people to do His will on earth. Can good things be done by bad people? I think we must admit they can.

Here at Chez Leester, we have a Thanksgiving tradition of watching two movies in particular: on Friday, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and on Saturday, Miracle on 34th Street. The one movie completely takes my mind off the dreary and disturbing news that I’ve been covering all year. The second never fails to remind me that there are truths that don’t–ahem!–lend themselves to factual analysis.

I watch lots of movies, including ones in which grossly immoral people may have had a hand in making. My calling in this life is to tell stories. To do it well, I must consume stories–lots and lots of stories. There are readers who say that reading one of my books is like watching a movie. Well, you can’t even guess at the number of hours I’ve put into achieving that effect. And I couldn’t do it if I didn’t watch as many movies as I can.

Don’t get me wrong. There is sleaze that I will walk a mile to avoid. And I’ll walk at least half a mile to dodge chick flicks, Serious Mainstream Dramas About Sophisticated People With Painful Personal Problems That They Can’t Solve Because They’re Pinheads, crime movies in which every character is rotten to the core, and several other kinds.

Anyway, I think we can all be thankful that God doesn’t require us to be absolutely perfect before He can make use of us. Serving Him in any way we can is both a glory and a privilege, and even sinners get a crack at it. Who knows? It might be habit-forming.

7 comments on “Shunning Movies Made by Immoral People

  1. Indeed, we can’t avoid this world’s badness 100%. I try to avoid the truly disgusting stuff, movies which glorify immoral behaviors, but it’s nearly impossible to avoid movies made by people whose personal behavior is contrary to biblical morality. In many cases, it would become impossible to watch anything if that rule were strictly enforced.

    1. Imagine if we weren’t allowed to buy anything sold by a sinner. But of course St. Paul dealt with that.

    2. I agree.

      Sometimes, I have a hard time watching people whom I know to believe things which I think are harmful. Of late, we’ve seen actors and actresses that promote sexual practices I can’t see as benign, even among “consenting adults”.

      After reading James Garner’s effusive praise for Obama, I have a hard time watching him play rugged individualists in his movies. From reading his words, I got the strong impression that rugged individualism was just fine for him, but us worker bees had better keep our nose to the stone, pay exorbitant taxes and be thankful for whatever the government lets us keep. He wallowed in self-pity because he had to borrow Natalie Woods’ Cadillac so he could arrive at an awards show in style, apparently forgetting that most of the consumers of his work would never so much as ride in a Cadillac. Hypocrite!

    3. Yeah, that kind of spoiled my own enjoyment of Garner’s work.

      The thing that these Hollywood dolts don’t realize, or even suspect… is that we don’t need them.

    4. His constant whining about how little money he earned in the early days really got to me. While he was making many times the national average wage playing Maverick, my parents were praying that the car would start so that they could get to work the next morning. One car, two parents, two children and two jobs. More than once, I awoke to the sound of my father rushing around the house in near panic, because our 10-15 year old heap wouldn’t start and he had to be at work in a few minutes.

      Gosh Garner, I’m sorry you didn’t have your own Cadillac, but my family was hoping that a dead battery didn’t end up costing them their livlihood and ultimately the modest house my father built with his own hands.

      About the time Garner was ripping up Mulholland Drive in his Austin Mini (which was basically a toy for him), my family was celebrating the fact that we could finally afford a 6 year old car which came at the princely sum of $400 and required a bank loan at that.

      I loved Maverick, Jim Rockford, Jason McCullough and Latino Smith, all characters Garner created, but to read his continual whining about how little money he made has spoiled all of those characters for me. He has insulted the very working class people that identified with his characters, the very people that made it possible for him to hang out in the Hollywood Hills and to drive cars most of us would never be able to own.

      As a young man, James Garner was a hero figure, an example of indomitable spirit and integrity, but those were just characters he dreamed up, no different than if I were to affect a southern accent and pretend that I was from the Deep South. Were he alive today I would gladly call him out to his face as being a hypocrite and an elitist.

  2. I am always amazed at all the time and expense that goes into a movie and then it is lousy. I watched Disney’s “Tomorrow Land” this weekend with George Cloony and Hugh Laurie and it is terrible. Today I watched “The Avengers: Ulitron” and it was ridiculous with the all the special effects and killings. I had to read Wikipedia to understand what the heck it was suppose to be about. Now I know why I have avoided all those Marvel movies. Good movies are few and far between.

    1. Coulda toldja so!
      I am often amazed by really bad movies. Could the people who were making them, even in their wildest dreams, ever have thought they were making something good? If so, they’ve got problems.

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