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View Full Version : What movie would you show to somene from the 1950s?


Kevin H
01-08-2003, 03:27 PM
If you could show someone from the 1950s a movie today to show them what movies could be like in 50 years, which one would you show?

metroshane
01-08-2003, 03:58 PM
Forest Gump.

Casey1505
01-08-2003, 04:01 PM
Dogma

Silentgoldfish
01-08-2003, 04:01 PM
Lord of the Rings. Always Lord of the Rings.

Men in Black might be an entertaining way to show how special effects change but movies stay the same.

Freudian Slit
01-08-2003, 04:08 PM
Far from Heaven, maybe, to show them what we think of their life and how things have changed.

Either that or Fight Club because I'd love to see the expression on his/her face when the fighting commences...;)

bup
01-08-2003, 04:09 PM
Toy Story. Or maybe Spiderman.

vibrotronica
01-08-2003, 04:16 PM
Pulp Fiction

My mother has never seen Pulp Fiction because she's a Church of Chirst fundamentalist type and thinks it's evil. Every time I see that scene in the apartment where Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta kill those white kids I wonder what my mom would think about it. I wafffle between trying to show it to her just to watch the look on her face or not showing it to her because her head would explode. The truth of the matter is that she would probably just get up and walk out because of all of the cussing.

Me, I like the cussing.

Ethilrist
01-08-2003, 04:22 PM
Grease.

Naw, just kiddin'.

I'd show them The Phantom Menace, mostly to see if it makes any sense whatsoever to somebody with absolutely no cultural references or preconceptions as to what the plot's going to be.

I'd wait until after the movie was over to tell them that Jar Jar was CGI, and ask them how they liked the rubber suit guy.

Kilt-wearin' man
01-08-2003, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by vibrotronica
Pulp Fiction

My mother has never seen Pulp Fiction because she's a Church of Chirst fundamentalist type and thinks it's evil. Every time I see that scene in the apartment where Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta kill those white kids I wonder what my mom would think about it. I wafffle between trying to show it to her just to watch the look on her face or not showing it to her because her head would explode. The truth of the matter is that she would probably just get up and walk out because of all of the cussing.

Me, I like the cussing.

Interesting...I was raised going to the Church of Christ (still consider myself a member although I haven't really attended regularly in a few years) and enjoyed Pulp Fiction, although I think it loses some of the charm the more I watch it, but that's mostly just because Tarrantino isn't all that talented a film-maker...he pretty much just lucked out on this one, as his later films demonstrate painfully. Yeesh, long sentence... Anyway, why does she think it's "evil"? I can see an older individual being put off by the language or upset that violence is "glorified" (although everyone who dies in it dies a very messy, painful death...not much glory there), but "evil"? Has she actually made this pronouncement to you, or are you predicting her reaction?

Anyway, I'd either show them "Lord of the Rings" (to show how wonderful and imaginitive movies have become) or go for the total culture-shock meltdown and show them "Eyes Wide Shut". Just to watch the look of horror and confusion - no story, weird shit happening everywhere, and lots of nekkid women - 1950s man would probably have an aneurism.

World Eater
01-08-2003, 04:35 PM
Back to the Future.

sycorob
01-08-2003, 04:38 PM
Blade Runner, because it's futuristic even for us - it would blow them away.

Then maybe Forest Gump - a nice movie, and they would know some of the cultural references, right?* Might find it cute.

What about Pleasantville? It would be interesting to see what they think - it'd be like two groups looking at the same thing from opposite ends.* I think good discussions would arise.

* I am a young punk - if I got the wrong decade, please flog me with a wet noodle.

mnemosyne
01-08-2003, 06:11 PM
LOL "Blast from the Past". Wasn't that family hiding our since the 50s? Or was it the 70s? I don't remember it all that well, but it would be somewhat appropriate, I think!

Kevin H
01-08-2003, 07:32 PM
What got me thinking about this was watching one of the extra discs on LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, and it talked about how it was a timeless story and it showed clips of Hitler to show what the people living at that time associated with evil in the world.

Anyway I was thinking about how different everything was then, when the story came out, but how it was still relevant then as it is now.

I think it would be interesting to show them a LOTR film because that could show how well such a fantasy land like Middle Earth could be realized amazingly on film now a days whereas then it would have to be all in their mind and something like a LOTR film just wasn't possible.

Mr. Blue Sky
01-08-2003, 07:46 PM
Superman (1979)

Tuckerfan
01-08-2003, 08:31 PM
I'd show them one of the Star Trek movies and tell 'em it was a documentary! :D

Hometownboy
01-09-2003, 02:15 AM
Had to go out to the garage and hunt through old SF magazines, but in the mid-winter 1984 issue of Analog, Eric Iverson had a story, "Hindsight" in which an SF author and editor (thinly disguised Poul Anderson and John Campbell) investigate in the 1950s a mysterious author who has been turning in top notch SF stories to the magazine. Problem comes about when the editor gets a submission from the Anderson character with exactly the same story that has just been submitted by the mysterious author. Campbell character flies out to California, meets Anderson character and they investigate.

Mysterious author turns out to be a lady from the future who brought back with her a number of SF books and is trying to reprogram the culture by submitting selected stories earlier than they would have appeared otherwise. She also brought back a color TV and VCR, and plays Star Wars for them. In the mid-50s, they have never seen color TV, much less higher definition, much less the effects of even the first Star Wars film. They are mightily impressed with effects (though not scoring the plot that highly.)

Great little story, which catches the mood of the 50s perfectly, and well worth looking up.

agroof
01-09-2003, 03:28 AM
Totally The Matrix.

TPWombat
01-09-2003, 07:15 AM
Aliens and Evil Dead II

heh

yojimbo
01-09-2003, 07:23 AM
The Exorcist

Gorgon Heap
01-09-2003, 07:26 AM
Holy Moses, Wombat! You wanna kill'em?

Anyway, I've actually thoought about this for a couple years now and I long ago decided on a film that fits into the "monster movie" genre and is modern, but with a great story and more than enough believability to totally freak them out.



Jurassic Park.

middleman
01-09-2003, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by Zoggie

Either that or Fight Club because I'd love to see the expression on his/her face when the fighting commences...;)

You bum! :) When I opened this thread, I was gonna type almost that exact line about the exact same movie!

I wasn't even going to temper my comments with a smart remark like yours about Far From Heaven.

Mine woulda been all low brow! :)

Zebra
01-09-2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Silentgoldfish

Men in Black might be an entertaining way to show how special effects change but movies stay the same.

They might be shocked to see a film with a black lead.


I'd show them one of these four films.

Planet of the Apes
Logan's Run
Gattaca
(These are for the documentary gag)

Then I'd show them.

The Godfather

vibrotronica
01-09-2003, 12:23 PM
from Kilt Man:
Anyway, why does she think it's "evil"? I can see an older individual being put off by the language or upset that violence is "glorified" (although everyone who dies in it dies a very messy, painful death...not much glory there), but "evil"? Has she actually made this pronouncement to you, or are you predicting her reaction?

Yes, she has made this pronouncement to me when I told her it was one of my favorite movies. How did she reach this conclusion? Somebody told her. The same with Harry Potter and L.A. Confidential and The Simpsons (which she has never seen because it comes on while she's at church on Sunday nights). I finally got her to actually WATCH LA Confidential , and she enjoyed it. She said it was an "old fashioned" kind of movie, which is what I was trying to tell her all along. Generally, when she says things like that, it goes something like "Well, Juanita said that movie was just AWFUL!" and that's the end of it. It rarely comes directly from the pulpit (unlike the rest of the enlightened pronouncements that come out of the preacher's mouth, like the Christmas Eve when my raised Episcopal and Catholic girlfriend was home with me and he said that the Pope was the Antichrist...but that's another story...), but judgements on which entertainments are evil filter through the congregation (and from congregation to congregation in the area*) just like the judgements on which family has slipped into apostacy because they missed Wednesday night Bible study or their daughter was seen wearing short pants. I picked that scene in particular because of the reading of the bible verse. (interestingly, QT is from Knoxville. I wonder if he was raised fundamentalist)

If I sound a little bitter, I'm really trying not to be. I decided I was wasting too much of my energy railing against the church and screwing up my relationship with my family. I went to 18 years of Church of Christ Sunday school. That's why I'm an atheist. If they can't be big enough to just let me be about my (utter lack of) religion, then I can be big enough to deal with it when I'm home and keep my mouth shut. I injected my earlier comment into this discussion because I thought that my mother, with her faux-50's moralizing, would be a good proxy for the fifties mentality since actual time travel is not feasable. But strangely, I don't think it was just the violence and language that the CofC folks were objecting to in Pulp Fiction . The unorthodox storytelling seems just as offensive to them as anything else. It's strange, new, and therefore must be bad--a tool of Satan!--because God has already introduced all of his approved storytelling techniques in the King James Version of the Bible. I'm not kidding here. When they say that fundamentalism is a reaction to modernity, that's what they mean. That mindset permeates every facet of their lives. Perhaps the 50's mindset which the OP implies exists was similar?

I do not mean to insult, demean, or disparage your religion, Kilt , or anybody else's. From all of your posts you seem a perfectly reasonable and intellegent guy, and you are free to believe or practice whatever religion you want without judgement from me. In fact, my take on atheism demands utter indifference to other people's religions until they start shoving them in my face, which you have not done and show absolutely no signs of doing in the near future.

I will, however, take issue with your assertion that QT is a bad director. He's a fantastic screenwriter, is fantasitic with his actors, focuses on character development (sometimes to the detriment of pacing), and even if he's not visually as innovative as some would have you believe, is at least in possession of his own distincitive visual "voice". I think his quick and huge success spawned a legion of substandard imitators that has diluted the impact of his movies, and it didn't help that he hasn't made a movie in several years, but he's a great director. And yes, I loved Jackie Brown and I'm really, really looking forward to Kill Bill .

*In the rural county of less than 30,000 people where my mom and all of the rest of my family lives, there are over 70 congregations of the Church of Christ! I understand that the highest concentrations of CofC is in East and Middle Tennessee and Texas, where you are from Kilt I would be interested in exploring the differences between the way the religion is practiced in the two areas in another thread, if you like.

SmackFu
01-09-2003, 12:32 PM
Clerks. Because it's black and white just like they're used to. But very different too.

slortar
01-09-2003, 12:57 PM
Naked Lunch. Then I'd tell them it was a mainstream Hollywood release and was a hit at the box office. :D

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 12:58 PM
"Far from Heaven, maybe, to show them what we think of their life and how things have changed"
That was my first thought when I saw the thread. LA Confidential would also be interesting; it's a throwback to the film-noir classics of that era but with a more modern sensibility and greater sensitivity to issues like race.

In the blow-them-away category I would show them some anime like Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis.

grendel72
01-09-2003, 01:21 PM
I'm thinking a double feature of Natural Born Killers and Hedwig and the Angry Inch just so I could see their head explode.

Equipoise
01-09-2003, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Hometownboy
Had to go out to the garage and hunt through old SF magazines, but in the mid-winter 1984 issue of Analog, Eric Iverson had a story, "Hindsight" in which an SF author and editor (thinly disguised Poul Anderson and John Campbell) investigate in the 1950s a mysterious author who has been turning in top notch SF stories to the magazine. Problem comes about when the editor gets a submission from the Anderson character with exactly the same story that has just been submitted by the mysterious author. Campbell character flies out to California, meets Anderson character and they investigate.

Mysterious author turns out to be a lady from the future who brought back with her a number of SF books and is trying to reprogram the culture by submitting selected stories earlier than they would have appeared otherwise. She also brought back a color TV and VCR, and plays Star Wars for them. In the mid-50s, they have never seen color TV, much less higher definition, much less the effects of even the first Star Wars film. They are mightily impressed with effects (though not scoring the plot that highly.)

Great little story, which catches the mood of the 50s perfectly, and well worth looking up.

I remember that story. They get suspicious because the paper has strange serrations on the sides, which turn out to be perforations from those old continuous feed printers. It's been ages since I've read it.


I agree with Far From Heaven. It would be comfortingly familiar up to the point where she opens the office door and sees her husband kissing a man then their whole world would be turned upside down.

Unless they were Lenny Bruce fans. Or bohemians. Or homosexuals. Or all three.

On second thought, try The Matrix or wait a few months and go for the sequels, which are supposed make the first one look like IT was made in the 50's.

Max Torque
01-09-2003, 02:44 PM
Backdoor Sluts 9.

Indygrrl
01-09-2003, 02:57 PM
Pink Flamingos by John Waters. I would love to see their faces when Divine eats the dog doo.

Jake
01-09-2003, 04:12 PM
As stated above, "Logan's Run"
Also, "The Day The Earth Sood Still"

Jake

Caesar's Ghost
01-09-2003, 05:51 PM
Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, all of the movies of those series that are out so far.

Moulin Rouge, partly because I show everyone I know that movie (it rocks) and also because I'd want to see if their take on that period in time is similar to ours now.

All the Star Wars movies in the order produced, although of course I'd have to explain the differences in quality of special effects.

Personally, I don't want to think about what film a person from 2050 would show me if they were able to. That would be frightening.

And perhaps some movies from the next year or so after they came back or I went there, just to give them a heads-up and make them the envy of all their friends.

Zebra
01-09-2003, 07:39 PM
I just thought up some better ones.


JFK
Apollo 13
Platoon

detop
01-09-2003, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by Hometownboy
Had to go out to the garage and hunt through old SF magazines, but in the mid-winter 1984 issue of Analog, Eric Iverson had a story, "Hindsight" in which an SF author and editor (thinly disguised Poul Anderson and John Campbell) investigate in the 1950s a mysterious author who has been turning in top notch SF stories to the magazine. Problem comes about when the editor gets a submission from the Anderson character with exactly the same story that has just been submitted by the mysterious author. Campbell character flies out to California, meets Anderson character and they investigate.[snip]
underlining mine

I don't know if you realize it. But Eric Iverson is a nom de plume for Harry Turtledove.

bobblehead
01-09-2003, 07:52 PM
Meet The Parents

Cisco
01-09-2003, 08:40 PM
I would probably show them Jurassic Park. They would have no reason not to believe me when I told them that dinosaurs were again common on the Earth and this movie was the story about how they came back :D.

Then of course I would tell them I was just yanking their chain and they would never believe me when I tell them the soviet union fell and Russia is now our good friend. Stupid 1950s jerks :mad:.

Hometownboy
01-09-2003, 09:40 PM
Many thanks,detop. I didn't know that, or I certainly would have thrown that in. I have a bunchteen Harry Turtledove books and enjoy his many alternative histories.

What's gratifying is that my 19-year-old gloms onto them as well, when he's home from college. Makes me think I actually might have raised the kid properly.

Freudian Slit
01-09-2003, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by watsonwil
You bum! :) When I opened this thread, I was gonna type almost that exact line about the exact same movie!

I wasn't even going to temper my comments with a smart remark like yours about Far From Heaven.

Mine woulda been all low brow! :)

I've learned the hard way. You have to sneak into a movie thread fast if you want to get the obligatory "Fight Club" reference in. If it's got more than 20 replies, all hope is lost and you might as well wait for a new film thread to start up.
:) But thanks for the smart remark comment.

I think we're all having a little too much fun imagining what it would be like for those fifites people to watch our movies. What with the exploding heads and the gasping, and the hey hey it hurts. I do like the idea of them seeing Jurassic Park and thinking dinosaurs did indeed walk the earth (but were mostly confined to zoos).

Thought of one more to freak them out, though. How about "Head"? I mean, it's still freaking people out today...

DreadCthulhu
01-09-2003, 11:38 PM
The Southpark movie. Just wait until the Uncle F*cker song comes on.

Zoe
01-09-2003, 11:51 PM
I was a kid in the fifties. The movies that I think would have changed my thinking most are Pleasantville and The Stepford Wives.

Walloon
01-10-2003, 04:56 AM
Originally posted by Hometownboy
She also brought back a color TV and VCR, and plays Star Wars for them. In the mid-50s, they have never seen color TV, much less higher definition

Regular (non-experimental) color broadcasts on network television in the U.S. began in December 1953. In any case, Hollywood films of the mid-1950s were being shown in color, 70mm widescreen, with six-channel sound. Would a color television really be that amazing?

U.S. television had the same number of lines of resolution in 1984, when that Analog story was published, as it did in 1941.

Algernon
01-10-2003, 07:22 AM
Zebra, I like your answers. They are deliciously mischievous. JFK
Apollo 13
Platoon One could add The Killing Fields to this list. (and more of course, though I haven't had my coffee yet this morning so I can't think of more.)

Zebra
01-10-2003, 09:14 AM
How about


Woodstock

and

M*A*S*H*

Kilt-wearin' man
01-10-2003, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by vibrotronica
I do not mean to insult, demean, or disparage your religion, Kilt , or anybody else's. From all of your posts you seem a perfectly reasonable and intellegent guy, and you are free to believe or practice whatever religion you want without judgement from me.

Well, I hope I didn't insult you, either - it certainly wasn't my intention. You don't seem to have taken offense, so I feel a little better about it. Unfortunately, the Church of Christ seems to have two possible faces - the congregations led by an actual scholar who researches his Sunday services and bases his lessons on historical example and the text of the Bible (the kind I was lucky enough to be raised attending), or the ones led by a Bible-thumping hellfire-and-damnation reactionary who bases his Sunday services on his own personal prejudices and his lessons on ignorance and preconceived notions of what unfamiliar things "must be" because he hasn't bothered to actually find out. Unfortunately, this sounds a lot like the situation at the church your family attends. Bigotry, including declaring the head of another religion to be the "Antichrist", is generally frowned upon in the church I'm familiar with...

But let's end the hijack before everyone else gets annoyed with us...thanks, by the way, for the very complimentary things you said about me. Nice to know I'm not coming off as a total prick around here...

I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree about Tarrantino - I still think he got luck with Pulp Fiction and has yet to live up to his hype since then. Maybe a few of the flops he's had since then will reign his ego in enough for his style to mature...time will tell.

Oh, and I came up with a few more movies to melt the minds of our visitors from the Eisenhower era...

American Beauty
Hellraiser
Any movie made within the last 15 years with Marlon Brando..."Yes, gentlement, that's what happened to the young man from A Streetcar Named Desire...frightening, isn't it?"

JohnT
01-10-2003, 09:40 AM
I think vibrotronica said it best when s/he suggest Pulp Fiction. I seriously doubt that they have seen anything like that - from drug use to the adrenaline shot to African-Americans in leading roles (and when I mean leading, I mean Marcellus ordering Bruce to toss the fight and Samuel giving up the life for religious reasons) to anal rape and subsequent spearing, to the music to, hell, to anything in the movie. It was revolutionary for 1995, I can't imagine what it would be considered in 1955!

If I had to come up with one not mentioned (or unseen by me), I'll go with Taxi Driver. That oughtta shake them up a little.

HeatMiser
01-10-2003, 10:14 AM
In the spirit of sheer perversity, I might be tempted to show them Basic Instinct, with an introduction along the lines of "this stars Kirk Douglas's son, I understand he's a very nice boy", but probably would chicken out at the last second. :(

BMalion
01-10-2003, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by Zoggie
I think we're all having a little too much fun imagining what it would be like for those fifites people to watch our movies. What with the exploding heads and the gasping, and the hey hey it hurts.

Then again he could be a veteran of Omaha beach and might reply: "not very realistic is it?"

Yeah, those wacky 1950's people, they know nothin' about exploding heads, ha ha.

:D

Zebra
01-10-2003, 10:33 AM
They really need to see Nixon.

tracer
01-10-2003, 10:46 AM
We should show them the best movie of this millennium so far:

Shallow Hal !

k61
01-10-2003, 11:01 AM
DR STRANGELOVE ;-)

Wumpus
01-10-2003, 11:19 AM
Lord of the Rings, for changes in film technology.

Pulp Fiction, for changes in film and writing techniques and, uh, cultural mores (i.e. cussing).

For changes in pop culture's depiction of society overall, I wouldn't show them movies at all. I'd show 'em television. (Maybe The West Wing. Of course, it doesn't accurately portray society, but then neither did TV in the 50s.)

Walloon
01-10-2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by JohnT
I think vibrotronica said it best when s/he suggest Pulp Fiction. I seriously doubt that they have seen anything like that - from drug use to the adrenaline shot to African-Americans in leading roles (and when I mean leading, I mean Marcellus ordering Bruce to toss the fight and Samuel giving up the life for religious reasons) to anal rape and subsequent spearing, to the music to, hell, to anything in the movie. It was revolutionary for 1995, I can't imagine what it would be considered in 1955!


Well . . . :)

Peggy Cummins and John Dall were lovers who pull off a series of armed robberies in Deadly Is the Female (1949).

Frank Sinatra played a heroin addict in The Man With a Golden Arm (1955).

Sidney Poitier had leading roles in several movies of the 1950s, including ordering Tony Curtis around in The Defiant Ones (1958).

Sal Mineo was a victim of anal rape in Exodus (1960).

And from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, "Waitin' in School", "Lonesome Town", and "Rumble" are all from the 1950s.

Walloon
01-10-2003, 11:52 AM
And Robert Mitchum was a psychopathic, Bible-quoting killer in Night of the Hunter (1955).

KarlGauss
01-10-2003, 11:52 AM
2001 was pretty futuristic when it came out in 1968. The "look and feel" of the movie was unique even at the time of its release and its content - "intelligent" computers, moon colonies, videophones, etc. - could never have been depicted in anything approaching the splendor of 2001 in the 50's.

It would have blown people away in the 50's.

Walloon
01-10-2003, 12:00 PM
. . . while Ralph Meeker had a briefcase whose contents glowed menacingly in Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

Hometownboy
01-13-2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Walloon
Regular (non-experimental) color broadcasts on network television in the U.S. began in December 1953. In any case, Hollywood films of the mid-1950s were being shown in color, 70mm widescreen, with six-channel sound. Would a color television really be that amazing?

U.S. television had the same number of lines of resolution in 1984, when that Analog story was published, as it did in 1941.

Right you are, and thanks for pointing that out. I was projecting backwards from today's HDTV Just dug out the story again and this is the reaction as the protagonist from 1953 watches the opening to Star Wars:
The story background being laid out mattered much less to him than the fact that the lettering was glowing gold. There had been talk of color TV for years, but unexpectedly seeing one was something else again.

The author also has the protagonist listen, on headphones, to Robin Trower's "My Love (Burning Love)," to great effect. It's a really great story.

Shalmanese
01-14-2003, 04:44 AM
You have it all wrong, If you want to see heads exploding, you should show em "Dude, Wheres my car?"

JohnT
01-14-2003, 08:47 AM
... and tell them it won Best Picture.

Walloon
01-14-2003, 12:42 PM
They could just as easily show you the latest Bowery Boys movie, and you'd be even.

neofishboy
01-14-2003, 01:31 PM
Requium For A Dream ... then a five-minute trailer for Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend as the cartoon ... followed by Dead Alive.

As I haven't yet determined my attitude toward my 50's person, I'm trying to decide whether my desired reaction is "repulsed yet intrigued" or "frightened, nauseous and unhappy."

neofishboy
01-14-2003, 01:40 PM
By the way... I know how to spell "Requiem"...

It was just that I accidently typed in "Requium" which is, as anyone knows, a completely proper word but it means something utterly nasty and we won't talk about it ever again...

Walloon
01-18-2003, 01:33 AM
Here's what I think would happen if we showed a person from the 1950s some of the movies suggested here. Back in the 1950s, films about outer space rockets, trolls and wizards, and comic book heros were mostly intended for children and unsophisticated adults. Yes, a person from the 1950s would be amazed at the progress of special effects. But beyond that initial interest, the lingering feeling the 1950s person would have is that the film mainstream of 2003 was being controlled by adolescents. That films about adults doing adult things, that didn't require explosions and special effects, had been quietly relegated to awards shows, and weren't considered box office attractions any more.

Objector
01-18-2003, 12:23 PM
Apocalypse Now.

Get ready to see what your government is going to do to your children, baby.

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