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Catch Me If You Can (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: December 25, 2002
CAP Score: 47
CAP Influence Density: 0.95
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CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (PG-13) -- "R-13" to be sure.
Production: Amblin Entertainment, Bungalow 78 Productions, DreamWorks SKG, Kemp Company, Magellin Entertainment, Parkes/MacDonald, Splendid Pictures Inc.
Distribution: DreamWorks Distribution LLC
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Producer(s): Barry Kemp, Daniel Lupi, Laurie MacDonald, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Devorah Moos-Hankin, Walter F. Parkes, Anthony Romano, Michel Shane, Steven Spielberg
Written by/Screenplay: Frank Abagnale Jr. (book), Stan Redding (book), Jeff Nathanson (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Janusz Kaminski
Music: John Williams
Film Editing: Michael Kahn
Casting: Debra Zane
Production Design: Jeannine Claudia Oppewall
Art Direction: Sarah Knowles, Michele Laliberte, Peter Rogness
Wow! A "R-13" to be certain. And not just because of the CAP final score of 47 (scoring range for PG-13 is 55 to 67 out of 100, R is 54 and below). Intercourse, repeatedly. Once with partial female nudity. [1Cor. 6:18] God's name in vain with the four letter expletive seven times and four without [Deut. 5:11]. Eleven uses of the three four letter word vocabulary. "R-13" to be sure.
Frank William Abagnale, Sr. (Christopher Walken) taught his son, Frank William, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) well. How to cheat, lie and steal well anyway [Luke 17:2]. Frank Sr.. is in trouble with the IRS for tax evasion. Frank Sr's wife, Paula ( is in trouble with him for adultery with the president of his club (James Brolin). Frank, Jr. is soon to be in trouble.
Striking out on his own to find enough money to repair the broken marriage between his father and mother, Frank Jr. first decides to become an airline pilot. Now this is back in 1963 when Frank is about 16 years old. This is when airline pilots were held in such esteem that their autographs were sought by young and old alike. What better way to break into fraud than by impersonating an airline pilot? They are respected and rarely questioned. Successfully impersonating a co-pilot, Frank forges payroll checks to support his habit. And he victimizes a stewardess (yes, they were stewardesses then).
Let's take a moment to revisit the first sentence of the paragraph above. This guy is embarking on a criminal career for money [Hab. 2:12] even though it be to restore a broken marriage. The Bible speaks to he who steals because he is hungry (and maybe it goes without saying, to feed his family) is to be punished but not despised [Prov 6:30 - 31]. Maybe that, or superb perceptual manipulation of the filmmakers, is why there was a tendency to root for bad guy Frank. It was obvious in the audience. Or is there something else afoot in their rooting for the bad guy? Eccl. 8:11?
Getting close to being discovered, Frank assumes the personage of a substitute teacher who is a late for class. He teaches French. How convenient since his mother is French. When the official substitute French teacher does arrive, Frank has the class performing as students should and dismisses the substitute teacher. Once caught, Frank Sr.., actually applauds his son's ingenuity.
Next frank becomes a doctor and becomes the supervising physician of a hospital emergency department by forging a diploma and resumé. There he victimizes a nurse, Brenda Strong (Amy Adams) as she tries to recover from a chewing out by a doctor. Indeed, Brenda does her part in "victimizing" him. She literally and hungrily climbs on top of him in his office, implying nymphomania. Brenda was kicked out of her Lutheran home for aborting a baby. Her father, Roger Strong (Martin Sheen) was a prosecutor with extreme ethics and values.
Regarding the behavior of Adams and DiCaprio, consider the following:
Well, now. Sort of says something about mimicking that which is seen in and as entertainment, doesn't it? The Adams/DiCaprio scenario of sexual frenzy may not be X-rated, hard-core pornography in the strictest sense, but what difference does it make to an 18 year, 9 month commitment as the result of "doing some of the things sexually they had seen." Focus! This movie is PG-13! And for even the ones who see this movie but can't even spell "sexual" yet, they certainly have been given an idea on what to do when they can.
Frank wanted Brenda, the nurse whom he victimized - er - was victimi... - er - whatever. Brenda's dad was a lawyer. Frank decided to become a lawyer . After successfully passing the bar exams, Brenda's father, Roger hired Frank as the assistant prosecutor.
Frank even impersonated 007.
Freckled throughout all this is Frank forging checks, committing check fraud and a few other illegal maneuvers to finance his escapades. Also freckled through out all this was FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), chasing Frank. I thought for sure the movie had his name "Handratty." Even Hanks pronoounced it with a "d" in it. But Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) says "Hanratty." Note that I read Hanratty is as fake as Abagnale's impersonations. That Hanratty was inserted into the story to provide a placeholder for the involvement of a great number of FBI agents. Any confirmations or denials?
Note also, mom/dad that there was quite a bit of drinking by actors/actresses portraying teens in this movie for 13 year old teens. The perfect target for the findings made by the American College of Physicians:
The target entertainment was R-rated movies because of the increase in alcohol consumption over less severely rated movies. But the target finding is still intact regarding this PG-13 movie since the issue is the effect of drinking in entertainment on adolescents. And 13 years old are about as adolescent as age can get. Smack dab in the middle of the after-toddler, before-adult age range. Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? [Luke 1:15]
By the way, this story involves a couple Christmas seasons but I cannot rightfully claim "Christmas without Jesus" since one of the songs was "O' Come [Let Us Adore Him}." And "Christ the Lord" was in the song.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|