Those Dangerous Hollywood Movies

“Movies have long been a magnet for scrutiny, hysteria or moral panics, though obviously television now draws much of that dubious attention. Still, nothing can get commentators and even politicians going like a Hollywood movie. Consider Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, made mostly with Gibson’s money but also with funds from investors, and released by a large theatrical distributor–thus, like many so-called “indies,” a Hollywood movie in all but name. The Passion of the Christ represents a strange historical irony, because it was precisely the type of Catholic conservatism animating Gibson’s controversial blockbuster that inspired Joseph McCarthy’s tirades against Hollywood movies.”