Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Violin-hate TV Episode

Recommended Posts

Very interesting, thanks for posting. I watched the whole thing. Up until the final scene I thought: this is the old stupid  patriarchy, trying to reify itself and doing a pretty convincing job of it. Then the final scene where the kid smashes the the violin and announces he wants to be a soldier. Completely wrong for the dramatic arch established earlier, but I'd guess the studio exec's insisted on it. Because I suppose they felt like the people they served were threatened by people like us?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The soldier/artist who was killed, a friend of the violinist kid, the violinist kid thinks his soldier father sent the guy off to be killed. Later you learn he volunteered, which allows the reconciliation with the father.  Possibly what they're handling in 1959 style is a gay affair, and the ending is the kid deciding not to be gay anymore, symbolically smashing his violin to applause.  If that's not what it is, it's so bad that could be what it is :) Or it could be just art vs. military.  Personally I never associated violins with gayness. And the old pioneers around the campfire definitely enjoyed the violin playing, so they'd have to be gay too...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're right: this is a 1959 pop culture attempt to talk about gays.  Stuff was so heavily coded back then, it's hard for us now to understand what was being said (like: violin = gay? What a weird idea). Reason I think you're right is: we're never told why the violin kid freaked out so much at the death of the guy who was killed. But we are told that the guy painted pictures, so maybe viewers back then would have reasoned: violin = gay and painting pictures = gay, so they must have been an item.

If this reading is correct, I think the film is actually pretty courageous? Somebody made a TV episode in 1959 that was sympathetic to gays. It's obvious that the film should end when the violin kid plays "American the Beautiful" at the officer's mess. But some studio exec panicked at the idea of airing something sympathetic to gays, and insisted they add the violin-smashing scene.

Again I thank you for posting. Semiotics of film is fascinating!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...