How Did the Cinema Affect the Lives of Women and Children in 1930’s?

2300 Words Apr 10th, 2011 10 Pages
How did the cinema affect the lives of women and children in 1930’s?

Labelled the ‘golden age of Hollywood’ the 1930’s was arguably a decade of turmoil. This led to many people attending the cinema to escape from reality. Among adults, women tended to go to the cinema more often than their husbands, and this finding was echoed by rowntree, who found that 75 per cent of cinema-goers in New York during the late 1930’s were women[1]. With large numbers of children attending these types of pictures, parents and adults began questioning the effect the movies had on their children. As one 1930s screenwriter, Dudley Nichols, put it: "Our exposure to the theatre is either helping us to resolve our own conflicts and the conflicts of society by
…show more content…
Not only was the cinema suggested to be a bad influence on children, it was also proven that the cinema had a negative effect on children’s school work. “Children who seem dull, and are in fact silent when ordinary school work is the subject of conversation, wake up take an eager part in the discussion of films, and display rather surprising knowledge.” Children were more interested in the cinema than their school work and this affected their learning. Furthermore, children then adopted Americanisms such as ‘Yeah’ or ‘Yep’ for ‘Yes’ or ‘O.K Chief’[11]. The replies to the mass-observation questionnaire reveal a wide spread diversity of opinion among cinema audiences. War films, for example were well received by some, yet regarded with horror by others who wanted no reminder of personal tragedies which has resulted from the First World War[12]

Although there are many reasons as to why the cinema can be seen as harmful for children, there are also many benefits. Although the cinema may have given a false impression of what life was really like, children saw lessons being learned and although it was all wrong, it was an “essential stage in their development”. Children were able to reach a mature judgment based on things they saw at the cinema[13].
Contrastingly, many of the films that were being shown could be said to be unsuitable for the youthful mind which could have a damaging effect on children

Related Documents