Skip to comments.The Code Before 'Da Vinci'
Posted on 05/21/2006 6:08:47 PM PDT by Coleus
Confronted with "The Da Vinci Code," the motion picture version of Dan Brown's best-selling update on the ripe tropes of 19th-century Know-Nothingism (the Vatican as conspiracy central, the priesthood as perverse hit men), a previous generation of American Catholics would have raised holy hell -- flooding the streets with pickets and boycotting not just the film or the studio but all films, in an impassioned nationwide campaign to bring Hollywood to its knees. Yet this weekend, as the much-hyped example of sacerdotal noir finally premieres, Catholics will be queuing up alongside Protestants, Jews and secular humanists. The religion that once put the fear of God into Hollywood now has less influence over motion picture content than People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
As noted above, it was not always so. For decades American Catholics exerted the moral equivalent of final cut over Hollywood cinema. Galvanized by the church hierarchy, they managed not just to control but to convert the motion picture industry.
The Catholic campaign to co-opt Hollywood began in earnest in 1930. Responding to the shocking talk in films of the early sound era, two media-savvy Catholics -- the motion picture trade publisher Martin J. Quigley and the Jesuit priest Daniel A. Lord -- collaborated on what was to become the founding document of Hollywood censorship, the Production Code. A deeply Catholic text, the Code was no mere list of Thou-Shalt-Nots but a homily that sought to yoke Catholic doctrine to Hollywood formula: The guilty are punished, the virtuous are rewarded, the authority of church and state is legitimate, and the bonds of matrimony are sacred.
To mollify the Catholics, the studio moguls agreed to abide by the Code, but the gentleman's agreement was promptly violated -- most brazenly by Mae West, whose
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Saw the movie today. It's a great movie.
And yet the Code produced a period of movies known as Hollywood's Golden Years. No fans of irony at the ComPost...
And the rest, as they say, is history. The Catholic Church as moral guide through the minefield of culture is ignored at culture's peril. Whether it's degrading films, divorce, contraception, abortion, egg implanting/sperm donations, cloning, homosexuality: the Church is the voice of God.
Just saw the movie (hadn't read the book). Much ado about nothing. Not as bad as the reviewers said, but this is getting everyone in an uproar? (Very surprisingly, it was a young, large audience and a few people clapped at the end. Don't know why. Comments by people exiting were mixed at best.) Recommendation: Watch it on TV. Protests by about 7 Catholic old chubby women and one young guy who was suprisingly well informed. (The women were adamant; they would not see the movie or read the book; they didn't want such evil in their lives). They all carried identical signs saying that they rejected the Da Vinci Code with a large picture of Jesus. I suggested that better signs would say, "You've seen the fiction, let's talk about the truth". They loved the idea, and said that "if I truly believed in Jesus, I would have such a sign made and join them tomorrow." They left after prayer (mumbled) and the news crews left.
I saw the movie this afternoon with my daughter. I thought the movie was very good and Tom Hanks got better as the movie went on especially the ending monologue.
Don't really see what the problem was but then I didn't see a problem with Godfather III -- they are both works of fiction intertwined with some facts. I go to movies for enjoyment not for documentaries.
When my daughter and I left the movie, it was complete silence of everyone leaving -- theater was about 3/4 full for a 1:15 showing today. I didn't think it was a great movie but pretty good and nothing like all the hype against it.
Saw the movie today. It's a great movie. >>
I protested the movie today, it was a great protest, had hundreds of thumbs up.
I wouldn't say 'great', but it was better than average.
They clearly pandered to the religious goofballs out there and left out any details of the Church's atrocities over the centuries. With any book translated the big screen, there are always things that end up being left out. Unfortunately, here it was all the best exposition of the Church's brutalities and power madness. The movie plays it completely safe and wouldn't offend anybody but the most die-hard dogmatists.
I hear that it is entertaining. I don't really see what the big deal is. The book is found in the FICTION section.
I didn't waste my time with the book nor the monve.
It historical garbage. Its not even based on a good historical premise. The entire premise is preposterous. It was pretty well demolished on a TV history special yesterday - "In Search of History" I believe.
Tom Hanks is, well, Tom Hanks. He'll do anything for a good dollar - you know what those people are called. He demonstrated that in one of the last elections when he corrected himself on comments he made that might have been interpreted as pro-Republican, after being suitable chided by that other Hollyweird freak Steven Spielgood.
As for Opie, well, I think they would have run that idiot out of Mayberry on a rail with a tar and feathers overcoat a few years back for a picture like this one.
This shows why Hollyweird is Hollyweird.
I'm not Catholic, but I know a knife job when I see one and this is knife job not just on Catholics but on all Christians.
As for the Godfather series, it concerned fictional charactrers, but was based on fact - from that singer who really represented Frank Sinatra to the Mafia runing Las Vegas and crime operations in Havana.
The movie of course, didn't present or imply that all Italian-Americans are Mafiosi, something that the Sopranos apparently attempts to do. So comparing the Godfather with this piece of preposterous carp is a poor analogy.
If Opie wanted to do a good moive on a Biblical mystery based on fact, he should have chosen "The Sign and the Seal"
But I'm glad he didn't. He probably would have had the Ark of the Covenant turn up in Madonna's bedroom instead of Axum in Ethiopia.
I don't really see what the big deal is. The book is found in the FICTION section.
Of course, but how else are these groups going to get attention?
I find the protests at best silly and at worst in danger of portraying all conservatives as so far out of touch that we can't understand the distinction.
Anyone who can have their faith challenged by a work of fiction didn't have much faith to begin with.
I read the book because I get asked questions.Not interested in the movie because the book sucked except for the clues and it is anticatholic-I'll keep my few bucks in my pocket.
I doubt if most of us would want anyone to make a disrespectful fictitious movie about our family members, and this is about our God!
"Anyone who can have their faith challenged by a work of fiction didn't have much faith to begin with."
I don't think you get it.
My faith won't be challenged ONE BIT, but I am outraged by the blasphemy of this movie.
It is a tribute to the character of Christians that there has been no threat of violence despite this blasphemous attack on our Lord. Remember a few cartoons in a Danish paper? Jesus Christ can extract his own retribution. All Dan Brown's and his accomplices' money won't be much solace when they encounter the Lord whom they blasphemed. I pray for their repentance.
Is this you?
Amen to all that. I could not say it better.
"Saw the movie today. It's a great movie."
So when are you going to see the Islam fiction movie????
Scratch that. There won't be one. It's safe to disrespect Christians, but not so safe to disrespect Islamists.
"..I don't really see what the big deal is. The book is found in the FICTION section."
I gotta say, I am so tired of the "it's fiction" mantra.
It is wrong to turn religion into FICTION. Period.
it's blasphemy to make fun of Jesus. you need to get some help about your dreams.
I went to our local multiplex Friday for the local opening of United 93. The parking lot was packed. A lovely Christian family smilingly intercepted me and asked if I was going to see The DaVinci Code, also opening there. When I told them what movie I intended to see, they gave me a pretty card inviting me to a discussion group about DaVinci Code in case I ever chose to see the movie. They said they even serve popcorn. They were sweet and friendly. Unfortunately there were fewer than a half dozen people in United 93. The crowds were there for DaVinci Code.
Were there caribou, Aztecs, or woolly mammoths in The Davinci Code ? I must have missed them. Try to stay on topic.
The topic at hand was whether the movie "The Davinci Code" was a good movie or not and why. The book included much more information on the atrocities of the Catholic Church. Clearly, it was toned down in the movie, and the movie is weaker for it. In the movie, it is hard to see why anybody is concerned enough about the information and theories to resort to murder.
The film barely mentions the Council of Constantine and how the Bible was pieced together to support the political goals of fourth century Rome. It barely mentions how women throughout Europe that were educated were framed as witches to silence any other viewpoint than the Church's. It does spend some time on how a queen and the wife of Jesus was re-written as a prostitute, but it goes by pretty fast in the movie compared to the book. These were all presented in more detail in the book and you could understand the motivations of the characters. The film's characters lack motivation for their actions because this information is missing.
Freepers are supposed to favor the United States Constitution -- and that includes the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion. How can you suggest that the Catholic Church's history of attempting to stamp out all opposing religious views is not relevant ? Or that the chilling effect on free speech that is evident in this movie is of no interest to Freepers ?
I read that a third of the people who've seen the movie in either Britain or Canada believe it to be historically accurate.
You mean the 10 people put to death each year during the Spanish Inquisition? Or do you mean something else?
Although I did regard this movie, and the book as fiction, I did not find the movie to be as anti - Catholic as the book. My opinion only. I did find the character Silas to be more sinister in the movie than in the book though.
I am also wondering why they changed the whole ending in the movie though. It made no sense to me. Without giving out to much for those that haven't seen it. I am talking about the true relationship with the woman and her grandfather.
I'm referring to the estimates of women tried and killed as witches and people driven out of villages for refusing to convert to Catholicism.
Estimates of the number of women killed in Europe as witches by the Catholic church range from 50,000 to several million. The central theme of the book was how the Catholic church had systematically crushed thousands of years of worhip of the sacred feminine to replace it with Catholicism. As part of that effort, the Church re-wrote history to portray Mary Magdalene as a prostitute and tell people that Jesus wanted Peter to take over his ministry rather than his wife Mary. Edited the books that they would make up the Bible to omit any reference to Jesus as a married man, in fact. All to diminish the power of women in religion and create the patriarchal structure of the Catholic Church.
I have spent considerable time studying the history of witchcraft in Europe, and that is a load of horse manure.
The Roman Inquisition virtually refused to prosecute witches at all. Only a few dozen were even charged. Some witches were condemned in Catholic countries, by lay authorities. See Tedeschi's book on the Roman Inquisition, or for that matter, do a search on the internet for recent scholarship.
But the great majority of witch killings took place in Northern Europe, in Protestant countries. Not millions, which is nonsense, but tens of thousands.
That was the actual historical record.
Not to be too argumentative, but are you asserting that the Left Behind series, that created so much interest in the Bible, was wrong? (Please don't bother with statements identifying where you may believe the books to be theologically unsound. Very few Christians can agree on most aspects of Revelations).
My faith won't be challenged ONE BIT, but I am outraged by the blasphemy of this movie.
If you want to get all bent out of shape over a work of fiction, that's your right.
Just so long as we agree that what you're upset about is, in fact, fiction - so many of your confederates seem not to understand that.
I referred to the material presented in the book "The Davinci Code". The numbers presented were "50,000 to several million".
You can argue with the material in the book, if you like, but my quote of what was presented in the book vs. what was largely left out of the movie is accurate.
Have you read the book ? Or seen the movie ?
It sounds like you are trying to present other material that did not appear in either one. Why ? This thread is about the movie and whether Catholics should be up in arms about the information presented in the film, and how "little" power Catholicism has had in attempts to stifle the film. Considering that the most-inflammatory claims in the book did not make it to the film, I'd say the Catholic Church has stifled the film makers quite a bit.
"over a work of fiction" is what makes it blasphemous.
God does not want to be mocked.
Thus, I suppose you were equally outraged by the Chronicles of Narnia movie, which also turned religion into ficton.
I don't find it incredibly disrespectful to say that Jesus was fully God and fully man. Why it is so horrible to say that he had a wife who was pregnant when he was crucified? Doesn't really seem to take away the rest of what he did. What would be the equivalent disrespecting of my family? Saying my grandfather almost went to OU instead of the one true school OSU?
What facts are in Da Vinci?
It happens everytime people rediscover gnosticism.
Well that just about lines everyone else up in opposition, despite any empathy with several other elements of the report.
To say that our Lord was married to anything other than His Church is blasphemous.
BULLETIN: Free speech is a TWO-WAY street.
I can't help but wonder -
What if Hollywood produced a movie about, say, Ronald Reagan and he was depicted as uncaring and judgmental toward people with AIDS. What if he was portrayed as saying stuff like "They that live in sin shall die in sin" . . .
I mean, does it really matter if it was the truth or not?
There were plenty of factual parts when it came to locations, paintings, etc. The works of art in the Museums as well as statutes in some of the churches along with the various locations they filmed the movie were worth the price of a ticket. I thought the movie was good not great but I did enjoy seeing the movie. Some of the parts of the movie contained historial facts about the leaders in Rome in the years after Christ.
Some of the facts I saw in the movie also came from the books that my daughter had in her course in Ancient Israel where women were actually very powerful and there were statutes and drawings to those women according to some archeological digs where they have discovered many items over the years.
Where have I suggested otherwise ?
The Catholic Church has managed to intimidate the film makers into omitting much of the information in the book. So the Catholic Church has attempted to stifle free speech. Right ?
Gee, I can't wait to see the uproar if they make a movie of "The Third Secret."
There were plenty of facts in both the film and the book.
Unless you want to toss out some gospels and keep others.
Then, by definition, you've dismissed a lot of the facts presented.
That's the route the Catholic Church usually takes -- toss out any facts that are inconvenient.
Interesting. Every religious person I have met is fully willing to believe that the other guy's different religion IS fiction.
I just add one to that list...
Looking for the silver lining, I was hoping to learn something from this Dan Brown/Opie brouhaha, and maybe even carry out one or two recommendations of good books while discussing bad books. Weird, isn't it. Well, it hasn't been a complete waste, I got it, the other book, recommended here, was G.K Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. Be well.
"Interesting. Every religious person I have met is fully willing to believe that the other guy's different religion IS fiction.
I just add one to that list..."
So how come Hollyweird and the rest target Christians, rather than Islams??
"Where have I suggested otherwise ? "
Here's your previous quote: "Freepers are supposed to favor the United States Constitution -- and that includes the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion. How can you suggest that the Catholic Church's history of attempting to stamp out all opposing religious views is not relevant ? Or that the chilling effect on free speech that is evident in this movie is of no interest to Freepers ?"
And AGAIN, you said: "The Catholic Church has managed to intimidate the film makers into omitting much of the information in the book. So the Catholic Church has attempted to stifle free speech. Right ?"
OBVIOUSLY, you want the Catholic Chuch to be silent, and not exercise THEIR free speech. Right?
Oh yeah, and just HOW has the Church managed to "intimidate" the film makers. Please expound.