Raider's of the Lost Ark and Film Violence Essay

747 WordsSep 28, 20133 Pages
Raider Buttons In his book, More Than a Movie: Ethics in Entertainment, F. Miguel Valenti examines nine “hot buttons” of violence – “creative elements that filmmakers use to manipulate viewers’ reactions to onscreen violence.” (99) These elements, posited by researchers conducting The National Television Violence Study (Valenti, 99) are “choice of perpetrator, choice of victim, presence of consequences, rewards and punishments, the reason for the violence, weapons, realism, use of humor, and prolonged exposure” (Valenti, 100) . Raiders of the Lost Ark is a violent, yet well loved film which would be interesting to examine in this light. In Raiders, the choice of perpetrator is our hero, Indiana Jones. We do not…show more content…
“…humor strips violence of the moral outrage the viewer might otherwise feel. And if our hero can joke about the destruction he is causing, surely we can as well” (Valenti, 107). Indiana Jones is confronted by a large, sword wielding man and after watching his elaborate swordsmanship, Indiana tiredly pulls out his gun and drops him with one bullet – to the rousing cheers of the audience (Raiders). “Social scientists state that when violence is shown in context, complete with depictions of the pain and suffering caused by the violent acts, aggressive behavior in the viewer is inhibited”(Valenti, 102). “If a violent act is rewarded – through the perpetrator’s attaining his goal or ‘getting the girl,’ the likelihood of learning aggressive behavior is increased” (Valenti, 103). After Indiana Jones battles his way onto a ship, he’s so bruised he can’t move, so Marion, a beautiful woman, kisses the pain away. This is the only physical consequence we see Indie “suffer” (Raiders). In Raiders of The Lost Ark, the violence is abundant from beginning to end, - a death tally of 63 (allouttabubblegum) -- but we accept it because it is always the “bad guy” getting hurt -- a greedy guide is skewered by a bed of nails, a relentless thug is chopped by a plane propeller, and numerous Nazis meet their comeuppance by having their faces melt off (Raiders). The violence is often gory and realistic. According to the study,

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