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Jack Valenti, JFK and the Movie Industry


John Simkin
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I watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) last night. It is about how Jack Valenti controlled the content of American movies for over 40 years. It is clear that LBJ was mainly responsible for getting Valenti appointed as head of the MPAA. When one considers that movies are the most powerful form of communication, it made sense for LBJ to arrange for Valenti to hold this position. Remember, it was Valenti who led the campaign against Nigel Turner's The Guilty Men.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493459/

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I watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) last night. It is about how Jack Valenti controlled the content of American movies for over 40 years. It is clear that LBJ was mainly responsible for getting Valenti appointed as head of the MPAA. When one considers that movies are the most powerful form of communication, it made sense for LBJ to arrange for Valenti to hold this position. Remember, it was Valenti who led the campaign against Nigel Turner's The Guilty Men.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493459/

Valenti was certainly one of LBJ's top PR guys, but I don't see how he "controlled the content of American movies for over 40 years."

Certainly the MPAA job was a reward for his loyal service and key role in the coup d'grace, but I saw Valente testify before the Congressional Hearing considering the JFK Act and it didn't seem like he had too much control over Ollie Stone and the making of "JFK."

BK

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He must have been influential. He was boss of the MPAA for forty odd years. Maybe he didn't oversee every movie released, but must have exercised considerable control, imo.

I urge you to see the documentary. A large number of directors and producers give concrete examples of how Valenti worked. This includes developing a mood to accept an aggressive foreign policy via his attitude towards war films and other violent movies.

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Maybe it wasn't Valenti, but I'd sure like to know who convinced Stone that making a movie about the attempted coup against FDR (I believe that Stone had already paid for the book rights) was a bad idea. Given the subject and Stone's expertise, I would think that the coup plot had "hit" written all over it. But I guess something like "Alexander" was a more meaningful project. (I believe that it bombed.)

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