Archive for Tuesday, April 7, 1998


April 7, 1998


Why do film producers continue to tarnish good entertainment offerings with dirty language?

This business of overloading motion picture dialogue with a flood of dirty words is getting increasingly tiresome while at the same time robbing some outstanding offerings of the appreciation they otherwise deserve.

Two recent cases in point: ``Good Will Hunting,'' which won some recent Academy Award honors and ``Primary Colors,'' which may see John Travolta nominated for an outstanding acting plaudit and Kathy Bates chosen for consideration as best supporting actress of 1998.

``Good Will Hunting'' was a candidate for best picture of the past year. To be sure, it has outstanding merits. It details the efforts of people trying to achieve good things in the face of adversity -- something that a number of parents hoped their youngsters would notice. Yet a number of mothers, fathers and guardians who have taken youngsters to the film are disgusted about the mountain of vulgar language, most notably the constant bombardment by the f-word.

Most agree it would not be difficult to go through the script and cut out at least two-thirds, perhaps even three-fourths, of the dirty talk and leave the picture even more commendable. It might be necessary from time to time to use blue language for emphasis, but constant verbal beatings are reprehensible. After a while, some parents have said, they feel so battered by the f-word frequency that they either lose track of the story line or leave the theater.

``Primary Colors'' is the film version of the ``anonymous'' best-selling book that seems to parallel many of the activities of President and Mrs. Clinton during their campaigning days. Here again, constant use of four-letter-type terminology robs greatly from a quite interesting story line. And in the moments when real ``messages'' might be put across, the vulgarity overshadows the valuable lines.

Little wonder that large numbers of citizens are declining to patronize movies anymore. There is a great longing for good stories, action, character development and entertainment. But when somebody enters a theater with high hopes and winds up getting pummeled incessantly with dirty talk, why keep begging, and paying, for such punishment?

Too bad that good productions such as ``Good Will Hunting'' and ``Primary Colors'' are sullied by oppressive boorishness.

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