Film buffs could make a case that the art of film has deteriorated with the prevalence of film school grads working in it. After all, the men, and they were mostly men, who made the 70- and 80 year old movies we still watch managed to avoid it.
Case in point: director Frank Capra, whose It’s a Wonderful Life is a Christmas staple while, for the remainder of the year, TV viewers still devour his other classics: Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Meet John Doe, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Today, Capra’s outlook would not get him past the front gate of most major studios.
For example, when he made It’s A Wonderful Life, he said. “There are just two things that are important. One is to strengthen the individual’s belief in himself, and the other, even more important, is to combat a modern trend toward atheism.” And he said that in 1946!
In a lecture at Hillsdale last month, John Marini, a political science professor at the University of Nevada at Reno, recounted other Capra broadsides, Arguably, the great man was well ahead of his time when he complained, in 1971, that “practically all the Hollywood filmmaking of today is stooping to cheap salacious pornography in a crazy bastardization of a great art to compete for the ‘patronage’ of deviates.”