The Liberal Media (Part 2 of a Series)
The Liberal Cinema (Continued)
Last week, I pointed out some examples of how politicians, particularly the President of the United States are portrayed in recent films. Notably, liberal politicians are good and care for the people, while conservatives are basically, not. There are many examples of this other than the four I specifically mentioned. In these film, the liberalism of cinema is pretty obvious. The same mindset is in many other, if not most Hollywood productions. The liberal innuendos can be more subtle in these films.
The De-John Wayne(ing) of the Cinematic Hero
John Wayne was the man that many boys growing up from the 1930's to the 1970's wanted to be. He was the gold standard for a movie hero. He portrayed quiet strength, independence, conviction, and confidence. He played characters who were a bit set in their ways, but had a good heart and gradually learned to accept change. I don't think it's a stretch to say that John Wayne represented an ideal of the complete conservative. When you look at the past three republican presidents (Reagan and the two Bushes), Americans saw them as the John Wayne cowboy type.
Wayne died in 1979 and by then, America had changed, mostly due to Vietnam. The war was not only unpopular, America lost it. In losing the war, America lost a lot of its mystique of being good and undefeatable. Hollywood reflected this. With a few exceptions such as Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry and Harrison Ford in Star Wars, the 1970's was not much of a decade for the John Wayne type of hero. Even the James Bond franchise changed from practically a british version of John Wayne in Sean Connery to a softer, more jovial Roger Moore. The 1980's featured a comeback of the John Wayne hero in Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, and Bruce Willis. Timothy Dalton brought back the grim James Bond. Then the 1990's came and Hollywood changed.
No Longer a Hero
In the 1990's, Hollywood seemed not only reluctant to show macho, white male heroes. They even produced movies to bring them down and expose these stereotypical heroes as bigots and anachronisms. I will discuss two of these films.
A Few Good Men
Here's another Rob Reiner film and one that I enjoy and respect. Jack Nicholson plays Colonel Nathan Jessup, an ultra-tough, militant bulldog who lives his life on words like "honor, code, loyalty". He is practically the second coming of John Wayne. In this film though, John Wayne, er Colonel Jessup is also corrupt and is revealed to be still living in the cold war. The lawyer, Caffey played by Tom Cruise, is the "Harvard mouth" with the "faggoty white uniform". He tricks Jessup into revealing he was responsible for the murder of one of his Marines. Apparently, a little know trait of John Wayne heroes is they are very gullible.
This is a favorite film of mine. It features some terrific performances by Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman and a very realistic feeling and tense situation. This time it's Gene Hackman as the anti-hero. He too, runs his life by rules of tight discipline. Unlike in A Few Good Men, Hackman is not corrupt, he is merely so conservative, it blinds him enough to make an error in judgement that nearly leads to World War III.
There are similar films that convey the same message. We have Wesley Snipes instead of Sylvester Stallone, Lara Croft instead of Indiana Jones. Even if the hero is a white male, as in Titanic or Spiderman, the guy is hardly the hearty John Wayne type. Instead it's skinny little guys of whom John Wayne would have kicked sand upon. As for westerns, the 1980's featured Pale Rider and Silverado, both of the heroic variety. The 1990's featured Unforgiven, where Clint Eastwood paints the dark side of being a gunslinger and in doing so, de-mythologizes his earlier roles as that type of individual. We also got Dances with Wolves where Kevin Costner turned his back upon the U.S. Army and became a Sioux Indian. Yes, in Hollywood today, its How the Left has Won.