Calvanist Elements to the Movie “Footloose”

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The movie Footloose is about a town where music and dancing are prohibited due to the belief of the Reverend Shaw Moore that they are responsible for the death of his son. The Reverend is the minister and father of a high school girl in the community, and his Calvinist beliefs have turned the once lively town into a sad one. He believes that rock and roll music promotes easy sexuality and relaxed morality and that dancing and drugs are destructive and promote spiritual corruption. The Reverend’s view is evident in his conversation with Ariel, his daughter, where he says that classical music is acceptable as it does not confuse people’s minds and bodies.

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The film “Footloose” centers around a town where music and dancing are prohibited by law, which Reverend Shaw Moore helped institute. As the minister of the tight-knit community and the father of a high school girl, Reverend Moore enforced these regulations in response to his son’s untimely demise, which he believed was caused by music and dancing. Consequently, Reverend Moore’s Calvinist convictions prevailed, transforming what was once a vibrant town into a somber one.

“Some quotes from the movie show how the Reverend adhered to Calvinist beliefs. He said, ‘If our Lord wasn’t testing us, how would you account for the proliferation, these days, of this obscene rock and roll music, with its gospel of easy sexuality and relaxed morality?’ He also mentioned, ‘Even if this was not a law, which it is, I’m afraid I would have a lot of difficulty endorsing an enterprise which is as fraught with genuine peril as I believe this one to be.’

Aside from the alcohol and drugs that often accompany events like this, what distresses me even more, Ren, is the potential for spiritual corruption. These dances and this type of music can be harmful. I’m afraid you’ll find that most people in our community agree with me on this. The first quote highlights his disapproval of explicit rock and roll music, reflecting a Calvinist perspective.

The second quote above from the movie features Reverend Shaw expressing his belief to Ren, his daughter’s friend, about the detrimental effects of liquor, drugs, and dancing on spiritual well-being. This echoes the Reverend’s Calvinistic perspective. In another scene, Ariel queries her father, Reverend Moore, about his preference for classical music. She wonders if such music is acceptable, to which he responds, “It doesn’t create confusion in people’s minds and bodies.”

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Calvanist Elements to the Movie “Footloose”. (2016, Nov 25). Retrieved from

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