Are movies getting more violent? A group of pediatric researchers decided to find out — by watching all 22 James Bond movies (before Skyfall came out) and rating the number of violent acts in them. Over the 46 years that Bond movies have riled up audiences throughout the world, they've gotten far more violent. According to a release about the study, published today:
While Dr No only featured 109 trivial or severely violent acts, there were 250 violent acts in Quantum of Solace. The latter film featured nearly three times as many acts of severe violence.
In counting and classifying violent imagery in the films the researchers used a scheme modified from a US 1997 National Television Violence Study. Violent acts were defined as attempts by any individual to harm another and classified as severe (such as punching, kicking, or attacks with weapons) or trivial violence (such as a push or an open-handed slap).
You can see a chart they made tracking the changes in violence, above. Most James Bond movies are rated PG or PG-13, and the researchers worry that this means children today are exposed to more violence than they once were.
As for me, I'm wondering what happened there in the early 1970s — was Bond a little more peaceful after the Vietnam War ended? Seems like he only ramped up again with Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. What changed in the Bondverse at that time?
Read the full scholarly article at JAMA Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine