Themes of movies are often based on the time period they were made and the society in which they were produced. While some themes are realistic, others are more escapist and nostalgic fare. Many themes are also based on social and political issues of the day. As society changes, the themes in movies change as well.
In the early 1960s, second-wave feminism changed the role of women in movies. They were no longer the passive, defenseless women who needed a man’s support and protection. As a result, the American public was subjected to a sea change in movie themes. These changes were especially visible during the period from 1965 to the end of the decade.
A 1930s movie’s theme could have been to encourage people during the Great Depression. The message could be to continue on, even if you are surrounded by despair. However, this theme may have changed after the Hays Code was implemented and the movie became more of a love story. A young man named Jack and a girl named Suzie would fall in love. However, the Depression would cost Jack his job. Fortunately, Jack would eventually find success with another company and achieve happiness.
Movies are grouped into two categories: those produced for entertainment, and those created for profit. Often, the two terms are used interchangeably, though the first term is more widely used by people in the film industry.