America - Then and Now

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TexasSky, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    A few weeks ago my family saw "War of the Worlds" with Tom Cruise. Today we watched the 1953 version of "War of the Worlds" and compared the two. In 1953 - there were a LOT of references to God. In 2005 - there aren't.

    This isn't about the movies per se, but about attitudes - however, I must issue a warning - there are spoilers in here. If you haven't seen the 2005 movie, and plan to, you don't want to read further.

    Today's movie starts off with a divorced father who is late in meeting his kids, doesn't care if they have decent food or not, has a terrible relationship with them, and curses like a sailor.

    The 1953 version, near the beginning, has a young girl visiting with her Uncle, the priest, then meeting the scientist of the movie, and inviting him to a friendly "family/community" square dance.

    Today's version contains at least two murders.
    The 1953 version, though almost duplicating the circumstance of the "murder scenes" of the 2005 version, have no murders.

    Today's version shows people fleeing, but shows no one praying.
    The 1953 version showed whole families seeking shelter in God's house, praying for God's help.

    Today's version makes no reference to God being around at all.

    The 1953 version shows the people praying, then just as the alien starts to attack the church, it falters, falls and begins to die. As the alien dies, the scientist steps up to the dead alien and says, "You prayed for a miracle, and he provided."

    Both versions refer to germs, which mankind developed immunity to, killing the aliens. However ,the 1953 version phrases, "Germs, which God in His wisdom saw fit to place on this earth."

    My son was struck by the difference in godly attitudes as much as I was. As he put it, the 1953 version seemed to send a message of "don't mess with God," while the 2005 didn't know there is a God.

    If your kids want to see the "War of the Worlds" you might consider having them watch both versions, or maybe only the 1953 version.
     
  2. just-want-peace

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    Pretty much sums up society, doesn't it? :rolleyes:

    MARANATHA!!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Soulman

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    In 1953 a if a preacher walked into a bar, the people would hide their cigarettes and drinks out of respect. Today they would tempt him to fall, ridicule him and or beat him up. In 1953 preachers were treated with respect on tv. Today christians are made out to be fools...Go figure.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

    Pretty much explains it.
     
  5. mioque

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    I'm not disagreeing with the original post, but there is more going on causing the differences between both films than just the decline of the appreciation of God in Western Civilization.

    The Novel
    -the alien invasion is played as a metaphor for the evils of Colonialism.
    Disease defeating the invaders mirrors the fact that the real colonialism could only get it's start after defenses against tropical ilnesses were discovered.
    The aliens as vampires are a metaphor for the sucking dry of the colonies by the motherland.
    The battle between the tripods and the Thunderchild showcases how a native army can get a temporary edge over the invaders because of terrain, but in the end it's not going to be good enough.
    -God is mentioned less often than in the 1953 film.

    The 1953 film
    -the alien invasion is played as a metaphor for the fear of Godless Communism.
    Notice how the preacher who tries peacefull communication get's slaughtered.
    How actually using nuclear weaponry turns out to be pointless.


    The 2005 film
    -the alien invasion is played as a metaphor for the current fear of Islamic terrorism.
    Notice that the alien warmachines have been right under the feet of the humans for who knows how long without them noticing the threat.
    Notice the discussion in the background in one scene about which continent has been hit hardest Europe or America.
    Notice how there is no real story in the film, much of the time it's just Tom Cruise wandering from one disaster area to another, mimicking the completely random feel of terrorist violence.
    At times those areas resemble the result of a recent terrorist attack, like the crashed passenger plane and the burning train out of control.
     
  6. HankD

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    While I agree that the spiritual/moral focus from the 50's has shifted for the worse, this 1953 line about "germs" in effect makes God the villain and perpetrator of disease (all the while bowing to his "wisdom") not Adam through whom sin and death entered the world.

    Also, did the movie industry contibute to (at least in part) or follow after the moral decline of society?


    HankD
     
  7. Magnetic Poles

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    Just for the record, H. G. Wells, author of War of the Worlds, was an atheist. The story was not meant to be a religious one.
     
  8. AdrianDavila

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    I would also throw in that we often project into a movie, book, song, etc. what we want to be there. This movie may or may not have a deeper meaning. It is most likely just for entertainment value (which I'm not sure it has much of).
     
  9. TexasSky

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    Hank D - No, the line from the movie is presented in such a way that it comes across that God saw, well in advance, a need for the germs some day and provided for them. The germs are NOT the villians, the germs are the heros.

    Mioque, we did notice the thing with the priest, and in fact, we talked about the fact that the priest storming up holding up a cross did nothing, but prayer stopped them in their tracks.

    Many, many, many of you astound me by how far off the mark you are regarding the post. The post was not about H.G. Wells and his intention, nor was it about what the movie was "supposed to be telling people." The post is about the fact that in 1953 this country and this nation considered God so much a part of our lives that even Hollywood was careful to include respectful references to God.

    And now - well, now we're so far from that that apparently some of us can't even recognize the difference in then and now.
     
  10. Magnetic Poles

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    The issue to me, would be how closely each version sticks to the Wells book.
     
  11. Brother Shane

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    Back in the old days, people didn't have all this techonolgy to take up their time with. They didn't have all these fun things to do or places to go. THEY COULDN'T GO ANYWHERE! God is/was on the back burner.

    It will all get worse. Remember, this all has to take place b-4 God returns.
     
  12. TexasSky

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    Magnetic Poles,

    If my post was about the contents of the book vs the movie, you'd be right. But that is not what the post is about.

    The post is about the fact that in 1953 God was such a part of every day life in America that even Hollywood felt a need to include God in their sciencefiction filsm.

    Pappy -

    You're right. It does have to happen, but its still a terrible thing to see.
     
  13. AdrianDavila

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    I don't think that it was so much about God being part of life back then. What goes on today was going on then. You have to remember that during that time, movies were heavily regulated for content, and the man in charge of it all was an extremely devout Catholic (I can't remember his name, but I watched a documentary on censorship in the media and they discussed this).

    I don't think the movies produced in 1953 were in any way reflective of life in that era. Men were still beating their wives and children, people cussed, drank, did drugs, fornicated, took the Lord's name in vain, etc. TV was an escape from all of that. TV was about Mayberry's, Beaver Cleaver, etc.

    I don't think that 1953 was any different than 2005 is. I just think that the film industry has put a little more of the off scourings of a filth-based society into it's movies, because they have been given almost free reign to present such things.
     
  14. Brother Shane

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  15. Brother Shane

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    Yup -- Just hope that I am home with Father God when it gets worse.
     
  16. mioque

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    AdrianDavila
    "It is most likely just for entertainment value (which I'm not sure it has much of). "
    "
    I was unimpressed, individual scenes are very well crafted but as a whole....
    The whole film feels like a montage of nightmarish visions and then it just stops...

    Texassky
    "Mioque, we did notice the thing with the priest, and in fact, we talked about the fact that the priest storming up holding up a cross did nothing, but prayer stopped them in their tracks."
    "
    Ofcourse the people who actually wrote and filmed the priest being killed scene most likely would have been very surprised by your interpretation of it.
     
  17. HankD

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    Oh, you are correct Tex, that's exactly what the film portrayed and I'm not disputing that point.

    As a teen sci-fi fan I saw this film when it first came out and several times thereafter.

    Even then I thought this ironic turnaround that germs were the "heroes" as an unusual one.

    Later I realized the distortion of the truth and that is my point.

    All those elements such as disease which play a role in the arena of sin and death are the consequence of Adam's sin and not God's wisdom.

    The ending statement in the 50's movie IMO is/was a subtle ploy to place the blame for disease and death upon God.

    Logical difficulty:
    While people don't normally die from a cold as did the Martians, there are a myriad of other disease which kill us.

    Wait a minute, is this part of the wisdom of God?

    If the wisdom of God protected us by his creation of the germs that killed the Martians, who is God protecting by killing us with the other abundant diseases here on planet earth?

    Then again it is just a sci-fi movie and one that I enjoyed as a boy.

    My favorite was the forerunner of Star-Trek The Forbidden Planet (though it also had several logical black holes).

    HankD
     
  18. TexasSky

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    Hank,

    I disagree with your interpretation of basic science. I will grant you that death is the result of sin, but I do not necessarily agree that "all germs" came about as a result of first sin.

    I also strongly disagree with the view that nothing which came about as a result of sin was ever intended for God later on God's part.
     
  19. TexasSky

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    Adrian -

    You are right, and you are wrong.
    Things were very different in the 1950's. Yes, there were people who sinned, people who beat wives, children, etc., and people who did wrong, then and now.

    However, in the 1950's it was expected by the world at large that respect be paid to God. Even those who didn't follow the teachings of Christ did not mock or ridicule believers.
     
  20. Johnv

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    I think your comparisons are unwarranted.

    The 2005 movie was not based on the 1953 version. It was based on the book. I've read the book, and the 1953 movie bears little resemblence to the book. In fact, the 1953 movie is filled with the anti-communist propaganda of the time, the reason that God's mentioning is infused in the movie. However, it should be noted that while the 1953 movie infuses the word "God", it does not infuse Godly values any more or less than any other typical movie.

    The '53 movie was typical 50's era sci-fi. However, the '05 movie is much more faithful to the book. If one wants to watch the better adaptation, it is clearly the current film.
     

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