ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

House of Mirth (2000), (PG)
CAP Score: 92
CAP Influence Density: 0.14

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

HOUSE OF MIRTH (PG) -- without the mirth

In social warfare of the turn of the 20th century New York, Lily Bart (Gilliam Anderson) battles aging without being married. This feature is a journey into the social injustices of high society and gender discrimination. It is a difficult movie to follow and to maintain focus for 131 minutes.

Though Lily's vocation is to be married, she has waited too long -- until her late 20s. Society is beginning to reject her and her finances are dwindling as well. So, with no recourse she takes to femme maneuvers to find a rich husband Shallowness and social games abound. And so does social cruelty. Not being able to land a rich husband and broke, Lily is forced into piecework at the sweatshops of the early 1900s. When a $10,000 inheritance comes it comes too late. Lily is dead by suicide.

There is not much ignominy in this movie which might serve to shape or alter the social behavior or patterns of your young ones, but it is certainly not in the same intellectual stratum OR interest of most modern youth. Smoking and drug abuse topped the loss of scoring, giving this movie a yellow CAPAlert light. There was no violence or crime noted. There may have been but if there was I missed it. I had a hard time staying awake. Neither was there any noted sexual programming. The most significant presence with possible corruptive influence was the suicide by abuse of prescription drugs to solve problems. Suicide is murder, murder of the self. And murder is sin [Deut. 5:17]. As is lying whether in cruelty or not [Prov. 6:16/19; Rev. 21:8].


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Deut. 5:17 You shall not murder.
  • Prov. 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: ... 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

    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.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: House of Mirth (2000) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • lies
  • a single use of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • repeated social cruelty

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • prescription drug abuse
  • dinner wine drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • a single use of God's name in vain and without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • suicide by prescription drug

    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 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." [Emphasis is mine] And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year 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.

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  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture

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