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-   -   What fiction films have had the greatest effects on the ‘real’ world? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=787175)

well he's back 03-15-2016 12:20 PM

What fiction films have had the greatest effects on the ‘real’ world?
 
I was thinking of “Jaws” and what an effect it had – I know many people who seriously would not swim in the ocean after that movie came out. What other fiction movies have had effects in or on the ‘real’ world?

JoseB 03-15-2016 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by well he's back (Post 19181847)
I was thinking of “Jaws” and what an effect it had – I know many people who seriously would not swim in the ocean after that movie came out. What other fiction movies have had effects in or on the ‘real’ world?

I read somewhere that Hitchcock's "Psycho" had a similar effect with respect to showers...

RivkahChaya 03-15-2016 12:33 PM

Birth of a Nation. The KKK was pretty much defunct when the movie came out, but it caused renewed interest, and is responsible for the resurgence of the Klan that is still with us today.

Tired and Cranky 03-15-2016 12:36 PM

Top Gun supposedly increased naval aviator recruiting by 500%. It certainly made flying for the Navy look fun.

silenus 03-15-2016 12:44 PM

"It Happened One Night." Clark Gable killed the undershirt industry for years.

The Other Waldo Pepper 03-15-2016 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky (Post 19181923)
Top Gun supposedly increased naval aviator recruiting by 500%. It certainly made flying for the Navy look fun.

IIRC, it was also credited with a big uptick in Air Force recruiting.

CalMeacham 03-15-2016 01:01 PM

The rescue of American astronauts by a Russian Cosmonaut in the 1969 film Marooned (based on the book by Martin Caidin, another of whose books inspired the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man) s said to have greased the skids for the Apollo-Soyuz linkup six years later. I know I've heard and read this many times before, and this website, for instance, takes it for granted ( http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/23766.../articles.html ), as does the Internet Movie Database ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064639/...ef_=tt_trv_trv )


The Wikipedia page on the film is oddly silent about this, except for this snippet in the "Talk" section:

Quote:

In a TV Guide article in the early summer of 1975, the interviewer quoted a Soviet as saying, "he thought all Americans had horns, until he read about Marooned". Indeed, it is conceivable that this movie gave a bit of a nudge to a project that probably had its roots with Kennedy and Krushchev talking about Kennedy's idea that they go to the moon together. It would be worth seeing what the state of talks between the countries were before and after this movie.

"Deke" Slayton claimed in his memoir that this film helped convince the Russians to undertake Apollo-Soyuz. (http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/25/mo...pagewanted=all )


Edidently it influenced some Americans in the Space Program:

Quote:

Before he had an opportunity to talk with the Soviets, Handler saw a movie that influenced his thinking concerning manned space flight.


In the early spring of 1970, . . . I saw a special showing of the film Marooned in which . . . an American astronaut is marooned in orbit, unable to return to earth, and has a relatively limited oxygen supply remaining. While preparations are made on earth for rescue by NASA, a Soviet spacecraft is caused to change its course so as to closely approach the helpless American craft. A Soviet cosmonaut then undertakes a space walk and delivers some tanks of [10] oxygen to the marooned American permitting him to survive until the American rescue is possible.#

About a week before Handler's departure for the Soviet Union, he saw Tom Paine; Marooned was still in the back of his mind. During their conversation, Paine and Handler reviewed various possibilities for cooperation with the Soviets. Paine told him of his correspondence with Keldysh and urged Handler to press the discussion of this subject with the Soviets. Handler later reflected, "it was my clear intention to catalyze the process knowing full well that if I could secure agreement with the Soviet Academy to begin cooperative ventures seriously, from then on the negotiations would have to be directly with NASA."32

The two days that Handler spent in Moscow, 11-12 May 1970, were filled with talks on a broad range of topics relating to the whole realm of cooperation between the two scientific communities. At one point, Handler found an opportunity to discuss the question of space cooperation with President Keldysh, Dzhermen Mikhaylovich Gvishiani (Premier Kosygin's son-in-law and Deputy Minister for Science and Technology), and a group of younger Soviet scientists. Handler's approach was less tactful than that which had been pursued by NASA officials; "I confronted them with copies of a recent article in the New York Times and in Science magazine recounting the rather disgraceful history of their failure to react to the many initiatives offered by NASA." Handler urged closer cooperation by describing the basic scenario of the film Marooned. The fact that "an American film should portray a Soviet cosmonaut as the hero who saves an American's life came to them as a visible and distinct shock."
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-4209/prolog.htm

billfish678 03-15-2016 01:09 PM

The movie China Syndrome probably almost single handedly killed the US nuclear power industry.

RealityChuck 03-15-2016 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billfish678 (Post 19182054)
The movie China Syndrome probably almost single handedly killed the US nuclear power industry.

Three Mile Island had more to do with it, though the movie came out at the same time.

The Jazz Singer changed how we thought about movies.

Star Wars also changed the way Hollywood looked at movies.

billfish678 03-15-2016 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 19182069)
Three Mile Island had more to do with it, though the movie came out at the same time.

The Jazz Singer changed how we thought about movies.

Star Wars also changed the way Hollywood looked at movies.

IMO one without the other wouldn't have nearly had the same effect. Talk about bad timing :)

cochrane 03-15-2016 01:16 PM

Star Wars certainly influenced Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative.

Richard John Marcej 03-15-2016 01:16 PM

"101 Dalmations". After the film people began buying dalmatians for their families, not doing any research therefore not realizing that dalmatians are not good family pets.

NDP 03-15-2016 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoseB (Post 19181871)
I read somewhere that Hitchcock's "Psycho" had a similar effect with respect to showers...

It also wasn't that great for small privately-owned roadside motels.

ElvisL1ves 03-15-2016 01:23 PM

The combined Disney films eventually transformed the economy of central Florida.

Uniqueorn 03-15-2016 01:28 PM

Star Wars created a religion.

ElvisL1ves 03-15-2016 01:30 PM

There are now intercollegiate Quidditch leagues.

Tired and Cranky 03-15-2016 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cochrane (Post 19182079)
Star Wars certainly influenced Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative.

Reagan was also inspired by WarGames to sign the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in 1984. Congressmen started hearings on computer fraud bills by showing the opening of the film. It's basically a direct line from the film to legislation.

http://www.cnet.com/news/from-wargam...w-went-astray/

Drunky Smurf 03-15-2016 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uniqueorn (Post 19182123)
Star Wars created a religion.

So did The Big Lebowski. Dudeism.

https://www.google.com/search?q=dude...HU5LB-gQsAQIOQ

CalMeacham 03-15-2016 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billfish678 (Post 19182054)
The movie China Syndrome probably almost single handedly killed the US nuclear power industry.

I suspect that the Three Mile Island incident (which happened at the time of the film's release) probably had a lot more to do with putting a brake on nuclear power. The film, especially with the eerie coincidence of the timing, didn't help, though. But Real Life has a persuasive power that film lacks.

RivkahChaya 03-15-2016 01:51 PM

What about Philadelphia? For some reason, I think of that film as being more recent than it is, but it came out in 1993, which was still the "Silence=Death" era, really. How much effect did the film have on the AIDS landscape?

DrDeth 03-15-2016 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billfish678 (Post 19182054)
The movie China Syndrome probably almost single handedly killed the US nuclear power industry.


And put us on the path to unending Global Warming, too. :mad:

Morbo 03-15-2016 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 19182080)
"101 Dalmations". After the film people began buying dalmatians for their families, not doing any research therefore not realizing that dalmatians are not good family pets.

A similar thing happened with people adopting owls because of Harry Potter.

davidm 03-15-2016 02:57 PM

Capricorn One may have started, or at least spurred on, the Moon landing hoax nonsense.

DrDeth 03-15-2016 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 19182080)
"101 Dalmations". After the film people began buying dalmatians for their families, not doing any research therefore not realizing that dalmatians are not good family pets.

Sez who?

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pet...amily-dogs.htm


http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/rev...almatians.html

http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/dalmatian

http://dalmatianbreed.com/do-they-make-good-pets/

But yes, research on any breed is critical. Dalmatians make good family pets- for the right family.

billfish678 03-15-2016 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 19182423)
Capricorn One may have started, or at least spurred on, the Moon landing hoax nonsense.

Good one.

Bryan Ekers 03-15-2016 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 19182423)
Capricorn One may have started, or at least spurred on, the Moon landing hoax nonsense.

Hey, he said fiction! :mad::mad::mad:



:D

ivylass 03-15-2016 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morbo (Post 19182389)
A similar thing happened with people adopting owls because of Harry Potter.

And clownfish after Finding Nemo and "setting them free" by flushing them down the toilet.

davidm 03-15-2016 04:03 PM

Easy Rider had a huge cultural impact.

buddha_david 03-15-2016 04:13 PM

After the release of the film Sideways (2004), sales of Merlot dropped by 2%, while Pinot Noir sales increased 16%.

CalMeacham 03-15-2016 04:20 PM

This is a minor thing, but I swear I never noticed anyone leaving stones or pebbles on tombs or memorials until they showed people doing that to Oskar Schindler's tomb at the end of Schindler's List. Now I see it everywhere.


It's possible that the film merely brought it to my attention, but I don't think so. I don't recall seeing it earlier, and it stood out when I saw the film simply because it was a practice I'd never seen or heard of before. I gather than leaving Memorial Stones is an old Jewish practice, but I don't think other groups did it until the film popularized the idea.

Now I see it frequently at memorials. In particular, the Holocaust Memorial in Boston invariably has stones heaped upon the granite portions.

DrDeth 03-15-2016 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 19182704)
This is a minor thing, but I swear I never noticed anyone leaving stones or pebbles on tombs or memorials until they showed people doing that to Oskar Schindler's tomb at the end of Schindler's List. Now I see it everywhere.


It's possible that the film merely brought it to my attention, but I don't think so. I don't recall seeing it earlier, and it stood out when I saw the film simply because it was a practice I'd never seen or heard of before. I gather than leaving Memorial Stones is an old Jewish practice, but I don't think other groups did it until the film popularized the idea.

Now I see it frequently at memorials. In particular, the Holocaust Memorial in Boston invariably has stones heaped upon the granite portions.

why?:confused:

drad dog 03-15-2016 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 19181906)
Birth of a Nation. The KKK was pretty much defunct when the movie came out, but it caused renewed interest, and is responsible for the resurgence of the Klan that is still with us today.

Yes. The real life Klan got the idea to burn crosses from the movie. They had never done it before. True.

CalMeacham 03-15-2016 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 19182709)
why?:confused:

Why what?

Why do they do it?

As I say, it's an old Jewish tradition, apparently:
http://www.jcam.org/Pages/Foundation...tionstones.htm

But it's not an old tradition for most other folks. You didn't see a lot of this elsewhere. But Schindler's List brought the notion to people's attention, so now they know about it. And, being an easy thing to do (stones are always nearby), a lot more people have started doiing it. I see stones placed at the SAlem Witch memorials -- which aren't Jewish. I see them of random historic tombstones.


The Boston Holocaust Memorial went up two years after Schindler's List, so I have no "control" data. But, ever since it went up, I see stones there. And I suspect that not only Jewish people are leaving them there.

bump 03-15-2016 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 19182178)
I suspect that the Three Mile Island incident (which happened at the time of the film's release) probably had a lot more to do with putting a brake on nuclear power. The film, especially with the eerie coincidence of the timing, didn't help, though. But Real Life has a persuasive power that film lacks.

Hard to say; I think that there was probably some synergistic effects going on there, in that the real-life event was about 2 weeks after the release of the somewhat controversial and popular movie and sort of primed the public for 3 Mile Island.

I kind of think either one in isolation wouldn't have been nearly so popular, for lack of a better term.

ZipperJJ 03-15-2016 04:39 PM

According to Wikipedia: "As a name, [Madison] has become popular for girls in recent decades. Its rise is generally attributed to the 1984 release of the movie Splash. From a practically non-existent girl's name before 1985, Madison rose to being the second-most-popular name given to female babies in 2001."

ivylass 03-15-2016 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 19182715)
Yes. The real life Klan got the idea to burn crosses from the movie. They had never done it before. True.

I don't know about that. Scots routinely burned crosses as a "calling of the clan." A lot of Scots emigrated to the States and that's probably how the custom got corrupted, as some yokel saw the symbolism and decided to make it their own.

davidm 03-15-2016 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bump (Post 19182770)
Hard to say; I think that there was probably some synergistic effects going on there, in that the real-life event was about 2 weeks after the release of the somewhat controversial and popular movie and sort of primed the public for 3 Mile Island.

I kind of think either one in isolation wouldn't have been nearly so popular, for lack of a better term.

I recall pretty clearly that there was a strong anti-nuke movement before either the movie or 3 Mile Island. In fact, I think the movie was made at least partly as a statement against nuclear energy,

janeslogin 03-15-2016 04:49 PM

Deep Throat

One of the first pornographic films to feature a plot, character development and relatively high production values, Deep Throat earned mainstream attention and launched the "porno chic" trend

davidm 03-15-2016 04:51 PM

That was certainly a trend that didn't last.

drad dog 03-15-2016 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ivylass (Post 19182781)
I don't know about that. Scots routinely burned crosses as a "calling of the clan." A lot of Scots emigrated to the States and that's probably how the custom got corrupted, as some yokel saw the symbolism and decided to make it their own.

It has a Scottish history, but the KKKs actions are directly related to the movie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_burning

Bryan Ekers 03-15-2016 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 19182821)
That was certainly a trend that didn't last.

It only went as far as you could spit.

Wendell Wagner 03-15-2016 05:58 PM

I don't think that Capricorn One increased the percentage of people who believed that the moon landings were faked. There has always been a certain amount who have believed that ever since the first landing. Can anyone find anything that gives the percentage of people in polls over the past 47 years who said that the landings were fake?

ftg 03-15-2016 06:01 PM

One film you wouldn't think would have such a big impact is Animal House. At the time it was made, frats were dying off. The writers wanted to put another stake thru the Greek system.

But people took the film as glorifying the frat lifestyle and enrollment in frats shot up. In turn, this promoted the big drinking and partying lifestyle that dominates too many campuses today.

The effects of partying for 4 years instead of studying reduces the effectiveness of the knowledge the students are paying for and has long term effects in the workplace for decades afterwards.

Ask for Babs.

jsquire 03-15-2016 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 19182219)
What about Philadelphia? For some reason, I think of that film as being more recent than it is, but it came out in 1993, which was still the "Silence=Death" era, really. How much effect did the film have on the AIDS landscape?

It made a difference, but not all by itself. MTV's The Real World: San Francisco ran in the summer of '94, about six months later, and HIV-positive house member Pedro Zamora died in November. That really humanized the disease to MTV viewers.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner made a big impact in the acceptance of interracial marriage.

ElvisL1ves 03-15-2016 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ftg (Post 19183029)
One film you wouldn't think would have such a big impact is Animal House.

The scriptwriters apparently invented Toga Parties.

Exapno Mapcase 03-15-2016 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 19183060)
The scriptwriters apparently invented Toga Parties.

No, they were real and Chris Miller went to them at Dartmouth.
Quote:

The first recorded college student toga party was in 1953, when James Madison University students wore togas and ivy wreaths, and brought their dorm mattresses to freshman Mark Neuman's home on Hillcrest Avenue in nearby Flintridge....

Chris Miller, who was one of the writers of Animal House, attended Dartmouth College where the toga party was a popular costume event at major fraternity parties (such as Winter Carnival and Green Key Weekend) during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
There's also no evidence whatsoever that Clark Gable killed the undershirt, and the story of that urban myth is given at length in this fantastic article. It's like saying that the plastics industry was affected by The Graduate.

snfaulkner 03-15-2016 08:07 PM

Dude, Where's My Car forever impacted the way we....uh....park...cars?

WordMan 03-15-2016 09:06 PM

Didn't Free Willy lead to better whale treatment?

Horatio Hellpop 03-15-2016 09:56 PM

The failure of The Three Amigos sidelined Lorne Michaels' film ambitions and forced him to return to SNL, which was nearing cancellation. Some of the people who joined the show after 1985 would undoubtedly have been big stars anyway, but a more typical outcome without the continued show would have been, in Chris Rock's words, "Tina Fey would've been the funniest English professor at Drexel University."

Singles capitalized on grunge rock more than the other way around, but I doubt Pearl Jam and its imitators (Stone Temple Pilots, et al) would have been as big a deal without that film. Plus, MTV doubled down on the popularity of grunge and gangsta rap so heavily that they stopped showing music videos altogether by the end of the 90s. Singles was the pebble that started an avalanche.

Not sure what the link between The Wizard of Oz and gay cultural identity was, but a lot of gay people have pointed to this film as the thing that spurred them to realize who they were. This was bigger than the Stonewall riots in terms of establishing a publicly-recognizable movement and identity.

Enter the Dragon did for martial arts academies what the Beatles did for guitar stores; both had pretty much always been around in America, but they experienced a quantum leap in popularity afterwards that just hadn't been there before.

Winsor McCay's The Sinking of the Lusitania popularized the idea of America entering WWI. It's hard to state just how resistant most Americans were to the idea of getting involved in a European clusterfuck, and how instrumental one of the first cartoons ever made was in turning public opinion around.

Sampiro 03-16-2016 10:44 AM

According to accounts at the time the 1983 TV movie The Day After (which my family was about the only family in the nation that didn't watch) supposedly spiked a huge interest in what we'd now call survivalism. According to accounts at the time, sales of everything from home generators to bunkers to wagons multiplied.

Though I'd go with the already mentioned Birth of a Nation as the number 1 answer.


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