Violent films aren’t to blame

Well, no, according to a US psychologist who has examined violence in top-grossing movies dating back to the 1920s.

The fact is that violence in popular culture has followed a U-pattern across the 20th century, the study found.

In the 1920s, when the box office smashes included Mata Hari and Last of the Mohicans, movie violence was “quite common”, but societal violence was not.

Then movie violence began to diminish with the advent of the US Hays Code era of voluntary censorship in the 1930s. Graphic content surged again in the 1950s and particularly from the 1980s, the study found.

It was only in the mid-20th century that there was a correlation between movie violence and homicides but this was likely a “chance concordance”.

The article noted that the association was reversed by the latter part of the century when homicides dropped but violent movies flourished.

In a separate study comparing