Tuesday, January 30, 2024

On Area Movie Screens – Jan. 22, 1964

With all of the entertainment options and streaming services available to kids nowadays, there's a good chance that they're exposed to much more sex and violence than Baby Boomers ever were when they were growing up. 

It's kind of ironic, because the 1960s were a time of great cultural change, which was reflected in many of the movies being made, which emphasized – what else? – sex and violence. But parents could insulate their children from objectionable fare simply by not taking them to see it.

So what were parents to do if they wanted to go to the movies as a family?

Many parents relied on Walt Disney and his motion picture studio to provide wholesome entertainment that was safe for the entire family to see. Consequently, seeing the latest Disney movie became sort of a ritual for many families. (It was for the Bradys, even though Mom and Dad also took us to see every new bullet-riddled, blood-splattered John Wayne movie too.)

The page above from the January 22, 1964 Journal caught my attention with its ad for Walt Disney's The Sword in the Stone, the story of King Arthur as a young boy, with Merlin the magician as his teacher. It was one of several Walt Disney cartoons that I remember seeing as a kid in the 1960s. 

Even though The Sword in the Stone is not regarded today as one of the great Disney epics, I remember liking it. (I was five years old when I saw it.) The highlight of the movie is a magical duel between Merlin and a wicked female sorceress, in which they both transform into a variety of animals and creatures to do battle. It's not particularly funny, but it's creative, and there is some suspense.

Today's Disney animated features are still very popular, but they would be unrecognizable to Walt Disney himself if he was alive (or unfrozen, as the case may be). The movies aren't designed to appeal to the whole family any more. Their target audience is young girls, with plots often featuring strong female protagonists who don't need a man to rescue them. As a result, I just can't imagine any little boy having an interest in seeing any of the Disney cartoons from the last twenty years. But since Disney owns Marvel Entertainment, there's no shortage of action movies for the young males of the species.

Elsewhere on that 1964 Journal page is an ad for the Hoop chain of restaurants (which I wrote about here); a listing of Radio Programs on W-WIZ that includes Paul Harvey news; Fire Calls, with a report of an alarm (accidental in nature) at U. S. Steel; State Patrol Traffic Reports; and other local news.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Palm Springs Weekend was a classic "beach type" teen flick.Troy Donahue and Connie Stevens,what a match made in heaven.Robert Conrad from Wild Wild West was the bad guy.And Doris Day is good in anything she ever did.She was a looker well up into her late 50's.And speaking of sex,you know that old saying that Doris Day was America's oldest virgin.True,very true.Doris wouldn't hurt a fly.Sweet and innocent.Doris was America's top box office draw for a few years in the early 1960's.Comparable in stature to the latest "It" girl now,Taylor Swift.But if I had my choice to be stranded on a deserted island with either of those two,I would take Doris Day hands down.