Skip to main content

Hope for Hollywood

November 4th, 2005 | 1 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Update: Link to the article added. I forgot it earlier.

Interesting article in City Journal today by Brian Anderson, author of South Park Conservatives. In it, he makes a fairly convincing argument that Hollywood's ticket-sales woes are directly related to their liberal social agenda.

The size of the market for such conservative films first grew clear in the late sixties and seventies, when Hollywood nearly stopped making them. Swept up in the era’s revolutionary spirit, the industry junked its decades-old production code—which mandated respect for marriage, the military, and religion, and forbade cussin’ and nudity—and went in for movies geared to “a rebellious generation . . . challenging every cherished tenet of American society,” as leftist film scholars Seth Cagin and Philip Dray approvingly put it...

But moviegoers turned up their noses. Weekly film attendance in 1967, the first year after Hollywood dumped the production code, plummeted to 17.8 million, from 38 million the year before (television had already eroded moviegoing from its late-1940s peak of 90 million a week).

He also compares the success of The Incredibles and Spiderman 2 to the utter failure of Kingdom of Heaven, pointing out the opposing social agendas in each film.

Anderson points out that there are indicators that Hollywood is becoming conservative once again:

For starters, Hollywood is home to a growing right- of-center presence, including hotshot young producers like Mike De Luca of DreamWorks and Gavin Pollone, and rising screenwriters like Craig Mazin, Cyrus Nowrasteh, and Klavan. What’s more, if reports are true, other young Hollywood types are on the Right, but keep their views quiet, for fear of career trouble in a still-liberal town.

This makes me optimistic. Making inroads in Hollywood seems crucial to maintaining conservative cultural values over a long period of time. Good thing the Biola MassCom department is expanding.

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.