In the Box Office Brouhaha thread, a discussion began about taking children to see certain movies and which ones are appropriate for them. I thought the topic could be expanded to include TV and what limits were set for you when you were young.
I was born in 1968 and the 70s were the early days of cable television. Thinking back, my parents never put any limits or restrictions on what I could watch. Some things I watched with them because only one TV had cable and that was what was being watched. I would also watch stuff on my own.
I must have been 7 or 8 when I first watched Phantom of the Paradise (1974). One scene that always stuck with me was when Winslow Leach gets his head crushed in a record press. I was never horrified or upset by the movie. I knew then it wasn’t real. It was only a movie. Paul Bartel’s Cannonball (1976) and Death Race 2000 (1975) where a couple of childhood favorites. Movies of the 1970s had an unapologetic rawness that that fascinated me as a small child.
I never cared for Disney except for Winnie the Pooh. My father and sister Sally encouraged me to watch the classic Warner Brothers cartoons which I loved. I also grew up on Benny Hill and Monty Python. Mind you, I am pretty much in single digits seeing all of this.
I was almost 14 when I saw my first R-rated movie in a theater. It was The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982).
As a small child, I grew up watching TV and movies with nudity, violence and profanity. Noe of that phased me. The only thing that ever got in my head was Salem’s Lot (1979). Since then, no horror movie has ever scared me. (I actually find the horror genre quite boring unless it’s done as comedy/satire.)
Children of my own are not in the cards but I think I would let them watch what they wanted.
I think where my family did try to influence me was successful because where they were directing me was toward my sensibilities.
Entertainment-wise, I had a great childhood.