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silenus
08-05-2007, 11:01 PM
I was just surfing the TV, looking for something to watch (because the Mets were winning handily) and I stumbled upon The Day After. It occured to me that this movie is as much a wet-dream of the Environmental Left as Red Dawn was of the Lunatic Right. What other pairs of movies can we come up with that represent diametrically opposing views?

(TDA = The Greens worst nightmare. RD = The Rights worst nightmare.)

Sublight
08-05-2007, 11:30 PM
I was just surfing the TV, looking for something to watch (because the Mets were winning handily) and I stumbled upon The Day After. It occured to me that this movie is as much a wet-dream of the Environmental Left as Red Dawn was of the Lunatic Right. What other pairs of movies can we come up with that represent diametrically opposing views?

(TDA = The Greens worst nightmare. RD = The Rights worst nightmare.)
Do you mean the post-nuclear war TV movie, or The Day After Tomorrow? Because both would work (the TV version was followed up by Amerika, about the commie takeover of the heartland).

Michael Cimino's The Sunchaser with Woody Harrelson hits every Limbaughesque stereotype of leftie Hollywood thinking without any irony whatsoever: Black/Native American gang-banger in jail for multiple murder = Good Guy. Successful White oncologist who's probably saved hundreds of lives but owns a Porsche and is worried about house payments = Bad Guy.

On the other side... I dunno. Any suggestions?

Ellis Aponte Jr.
08-05-2007, 11:48 PM
The Green Berets and Hearts and Minds.

On the Waterfront and Salt of the Earth are an interesting pair because they came out at about the same time.

devilsknew
08-06-2007, 04:18 AM
No, No, No. Red Dawn wasn't lunatic fringe. It's reality is what makes it a classic.

Devout lefty.

devilsknew
08-06-2007, 04:27 AM
No, No, No. Red Dawn wasn't lunatic fringe. It's reality and zeitgeist is what makes it a classic. Not an entirely unbelievable scenario at the time. Probably was based on a true and strategic contingent battle plan that the USSR had tens of thousands of people working on. The most likely and realistic contemporary reality noir would have been "The Day After". What politics did that movie advance? What are the politics of Death?

Devout lefty.

Mangetout
08-06-2007, 04:31 AM
I didn't really think The Day After Tomorrow was lefty-environmentalist all that much; it struck me as more of the sort of "Yay! Go America!" air-punching heroism-worship that appears in, say, Armageddon - which is kinda right-ish.

denquixote
08-06-2007, 06:07 AM
How about "The Green Berets" and "MASH"

Baldwin
08-06-2007, 08:47 AM
Are you positing that a movie showing global nuclear warfare as bad thing (The Day After) is of necessity presenting a left-wing perspective?

Let's see; I think these both came out in 1983:

Last Plane Out (evil Sandanistas kick out poor, misundertstood Simoza, who asks Jan-Michael Vincent, "Tell me straight -- is President Carter a communist")

and

Under Fire Nick Nolte as a photojournalist who ends up helping the Sandanistas (if I recall).

Beware of Doug
08-06-2007, 08:57 AM
Are you positing that a movie showing global nuclear warfare as bad thing (The Day After) is of necessity presenting a left-wing perspective?Yes, because they didn't go on and on about godless commies and establishing a state-of-nature free republic of gun nuts.

Baldwin
08-06-2007, 09:08 AM
Too late to edit: I meant Anastasio Somoza, not "Simoza" whoever that might be.

Was there ever a movie about heroic Contras?

Spoke
08-06-2007, 11:59 AM
The director's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/) seems to be an allegorical endorsement of blacklisting. (The enemy is among us! Beware!)

On the opposite side of that issue is The Front (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074554/).

Push You Down
08-06-2007, 12:27 PM
No, No, No. Red Dawn wasn't lunatic fringe. It's reality is what makes it a classic.

Devout lefty.


Completely agree. A lot of people think Red Dawn is a "it can happen tomorrow!" movie. But the movie is set up as taking place in an alternate reality from the very begining.

It also has lefty stuff going with allegories to Vietnam.

wevets
08-06-2007, 12:38 PM
Completely agree. A lot of people think Red Dawn is a "it can happen tomorrow!" movie. But the movie is set up as taking place in an alternate reality from the very begining.

It also has lefty stuff going with allegories to Vietnam.

I never caught on to this (possibly because I never saw the beginning of the movie) - could you elaborate on that, please?

Thanks!

Push You Down
08-06-2007, 12:46 PM
I never caught on to this (possibly because I never saw the beginning of the movie) - could you elaborate on that, please?

Thanks!


There's an opening text screen establishing what the world is like: (from IMDB)
"Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone."

Oddly I have no memory of the "Green Party" line. Hmm...

Spoke
08-06-2007, 12:51 PM
There's an opening text screen establishing what the world is like: (from IMDB)
"Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone."

Oddly I have no memory of the "Green Party" line. Hmm...

That all sounds like a "possible near future" setup to me. If not an "it could happen tomorrow" film, certainly an "it could happen next year" film.

A frankly right-wing scare fantasy.

Push You Down
08-06-2007, 12:55 PM
That all sounds like a "possible near future" setup to me. If not an "it could happen tomorrow" film, certainly an "it could happen next year" film.

A frankly right-wing scare fantasy.


Eh, YMMV. Whatevs.

denquixote
08-06-2007, 01:02 PM
On the Waterfront (naming names) and The Front

Lunar Saltlick
08-06-2007, 01:08 PM
Reefer Madness and Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke.

Quartz
08-06-2007, 01:44 PM
The director's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/) seems to be an allegorical endorsement of blacklisting. (The enemy is among us! Beware!)

How do you manage to get that interpretation? It seemed to me to be an anti-communist vehicle. I'm aware that Communists were being blacklisted but I simply don't see the link in the film.

Spoke
08-06-2007, 07:38 PM
How do you manage to get that interpretation? It seemed to me to be an anti-communist vehicle. I'm aware that Communists were being blacklisted but I simply don't see the link in the film.

I'm not sure what you're asking. It seems pretty straightforward to me: Spotting the hidden alien is an allegory for exposing the secretly commie. It is a moral justification for the MCarthyist/blacklisting mindset.

Spoke
08-06-2007, 07:40 PM
The Godfather presents a sympathetic view of the Italian Mob.

The Untouchables, not so much.

Quartz
08-06-2007, 08:07 PM
I'm not sure what you're asking. It seems pretty straightforward to me: Spotting the hidden alien is an allegory for exposing the secretly commie. It is a moral justification for the MCarthyist/blacklisting mindset.
It's the jump between the two where I fail.

Spoke
08-06-2007, 08:08 PM
I don't see a jump.

sinjin
08-07-2007, 01:29 AM
I thought this was going to be about road movies and whether the protagonists travel to the right of the screen or the left.

In that vein, my recollection is that Day after Tomorrow and Easy Rider are left-to-rights while Dumb and Dumber and Five Easy Pieces are right-to-left.

As for the question the OP actually posed, I would say that Dr. Strangelove and Fail Safe are on opposite sides of the seriousness spectrum but I'm not sure whether they're necessarily ideologically opposed.

Mosier
08-07-2007, 01:51 AM
24 and Arrested Development. Jack Bauer is a fascist's "we ARE the law" wet dream, and Arrested Development can only be summarized by a (paraphrased) quote from the show.

Cop (Ushering protesters into a cage): Free Speech Zone this way, folks. Exercise your first amendment rights, right here. Everyone into the Free Speech Zone, please.
Protestor: Where's all the media!? I thought the news would be here.
Cop: Oh, they're in the Free Press Zone (points vaguely in the distance).

They happened to be my 2 favorite shows at one point. I know they're not movies, but TV counts, right?

Spoke
08-07-2007, 01:53 AM
Thunder Road and Smokey and the Bandit present a sympathetic view of moonshiners and bootleggers, respectively.

Walking Tall takes the law and order side of the debate.

Lust4Life
08-13-2007, 03:43 AM
Three Days of the Condor,the CI.A. are drug smuggling murderers.

Falling Down ,the hero turns out to be a nutcase at the end but his opinions on society today were actually cheered by the audience when I watched it.

1984

28 Days Later,the main characters are all minorities and the British Soldiers are the biggest bunch of totally unbelievable clowns ever to ever walk this earth.

athelas
08-13-2007, 10:49 AM
Not originally movies, but 1984 and Brave New World are pretty much opposites.

Liberal
08-13-2007, 10:51 AM
If I could be allowed to expand beyond the one-dimensional Left/Right thing (http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html), I would offer Braveheart as something of a Libertarian Movie.

Zebra
08-13-2007, 11:20 AM
On the left, you have Star Trek, on the right you have Babylon 5.


All sides claim High Noon as their own.

Lemur866
08-13-2007, 11:40 AM
Not originally movies, but 1984 and Brave New World are pretty much opposites.
Whaaaaaa?

Seriously, I don't get this.

The only difference is that Huxley posits that the fascist state can more easily control people by keeping them "happy" rather than keeping them miserable. Which one is the left-wing screed and which one is the right-wing screed?

msmith537
08-13-2007, 11:59 AM
Trainspotting (Right - Drug use will destroy your life)
vs
Half Baked (Left- There are no non-comedic consequences from drug use)


Hostel (Right - If you aren't careful, the Europeans will get you!)
vs
Eurotrip (Left - No real consequences from a sex and drug filled lifestyle)

Armageddon (Right - U! S! A! U! S! A!!! )
vs
Deep Impact (Left - How does the end of civilation make you FEEL?)



I never caught on to this (possibly because I never saw the beginning of the movie) - could you elaborate on that, please?

Thanks!

It provides a kind of role reversal with the Wolverines as sympathetic insurgents fighting brutal Russian invaders. Kind of a "this is how we look to the Viet Cong" thing. The Cuban general gradually becomes disillusioned with the whole thing as he has always been on the side of the freedom fighters.

Acsenray
08-13-2007, 12:18 PM
If I could be allowed to expand beyond the one-dimensional Left/Right thing (http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html), I would offer Braveheart as something of a Libertarian Movie.

Yes, because there's that hereditary nobility and monarchy plank in the libertarian platform.











What?

BrainGlutton
08-13-2007, 12:23 PM
Reds and Doctor Zhivago.



What would be the RW analogue of Grapes of Wrath?

Or of Matewan?

Or of The Cradle Will Rock?

Lemur866
08-13-2007, 12:33 PM
Trainspotting (Right - Drug use will destroy your life)
vs
Half Baked (Left- There are no non-comedic consequences from drug use)

To be fair, there's a bit of difference between, you know, pot on one hand, and heroin on the other hand.

panamajack
08-13-2007, 02:15 PM
It provides a kind of role reversal with the Wolverines as sympathetic insurgents fighting brutal Russian invaders. Kind of a "this is how we look to the Viet Cong" thing. The Cuban general gradually becomes disillusioned with the whole thing as he has always been on the side of the freedom fighters.

I don't think of it as a 'role reversal' at all. It seems more like it's presenting an argument for supporting the Mujahaddin (or even the Contras) by putting ourselves in their shoes. Although I think of it even more simply as the alternate reality, where America is the underdog, weak but resilient. Whether that's more of a right-wing or left-wing fantasy I'm not sure.

The Day After Tomorrow (even if that's not what the OP was referencing) presents such an absurd scenario that it's too difficult to use as a pro-left/environmental movie. It almost seems like a deliberate strawman. Combined with a slight nationalistic bent (Americans do what must be done; the Brits lie back and wait for the inevitable), it's more right-wing than not. It does get in a slam against Dick Cheney, but he's not too popular on either side.

Another contemporary response to On the Waterfront from the other side was The Bridge on the River Kwai (Mike Wilson, the screenwriter, was actually blacklisted at the time).

Zebra
08-13-2007, 02:17 PM
Reds and Doctor Zhivago.



What would be the RW analogue of Grapes of Wrath?




Annie?

BrainGlutton
08-13-2007, 02:32 PM
Annie?

Nah . . . In Annie, "That Man" FDR manages to sell Warbucks on the New Deal. That old proto-Objectivist Harold Gray would spin in his grave.

Chimera
08-13-2007, 02:35 PM
On the left, you have Star Trek, on the right you have Babylon 5.

Ummm......WHAT???

Sure, Star Trek promotes a very Communistic view of the future in a sort of self-righteous manner.

But B5 on the right? The one where they fought their own government, threw off both sides of the First Ones control, etcetera? The one where they gave casual respect to all different religions and perspectives?

You're obviously using some odd definition of "Right" to which I am previously unacquainted.

Liberal
08-13-2007, 03:16 PM
Bablyon 5 is another libertarian one — leave peaceful honest people alone to pursue their own happiness in their own way.

Spoke
08-13-2007, 04:08 PM
What would be the RW analogue of Grapes of Wrath?
Maybe It's a Wonderful Life. (Friendly, self-sacrificing neighborhood bankers will save you from the Great Depression.)

Spoke
08-13-2007, 04:15 PM
Or of Matewan?

Maybe Gung Ho. (Thanks to all your unionizing, you lazy American workers got laid off. Take a tip from the Japanese and sacrifice more of yourself for the team. Then your bosses will reward you!)

Zebra
08-13-2007, 04:21 PM
Ummm......WHAT???

Sure, Star Trek promotes a very Communistic view of the future in a sort of self-righteous manner.

But B5 on the right? The one where they fought their own government, threw off both sides of the First Ones control, etcetera? The one where they gave casual respect to all different religions and perspectives?

You're obviously using some odd definition of "Right" to which I am previously unacquainted.



Actually it is the way Jerry Michale Garibaldi Doyle described the show at a con once.

athelas
08-13-2007, 04:49 PM
Whaaaaaa?

Seriously, I don't get this.

The only difference is that Huxley posits that the fascist state can more easily control people by keeping them "happy" rather than keeping them miserable. Which one is the left-wing screed and which one is the right-wing screed?

[/b]1984[/b] negatively portrays a right-wing (control of population, use of war to keep people in line, etc.) dystopia, while Brave New World shows a hedonistic, amoral and nonjudgmental society that, while nominally under a government, is mostly self-governing. It's not perfectly Left vs. Right, both being extreme and not concocted with modern ideologies in mind, but the tendencies and opposition are clear.

FriarTed
08-13-2007, 05:32 PM
[/b]1984[/b] negatively portrays a right-wing (control of population, use of war to keep people in line, etc.) dystopia, while Brave New World shows a hedonistic, amoral and nonjudgmental society that, while nominally under a government, is mostly self-governing. It's not perfectly Left vs. Right, both being extreme and not concocted with modern ideologies in mind, but the tendencies and opposition are clear.

Oceania was "right-wing" like Stalinism & Maoism are "right-wing", in which case the term means nothing.

Re the Fordian World Community being non-judgemental & self-governing. Well, people are indeed pretty peacefully self-governing if they've been totally programmed since conception. And as far as non-judgemental, mention at a Community Sing that you want to get married *snicker* and have a baby *gasp*.

Spoke
08-13-2007, 05:51 PM
(With a nod to this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=432515))

Left wing: ET and Close Encounters (Let's all hold hands and welcome the friendly outsiders.)

Right wing: Alien and The Thing (No, no. The outsiders want to infiltrate and destroy us!)

Lemur866
08-13-2007, 05:52 PM
Exactly! You think totalitarianism is a right-wing ideology? You never heard of a man named Joseph Stalin?

ITR champion
08-13-2007, 06:40 PM
Red Scorpion is the ultimate right-wing fantasy. Which is hardly surprising when you consider who wrote it (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0098180/fullcredits).

NDP
08-13-2007, 07:28 PM
Maybe It's a Wonderful Life. (Friendly, self-sacrificing neighborhood bankers will save you from the Great Depression.)

You mean like Mr. Potter? :p

monstro
08-13-2007, 08:00 PM
The Matrix feeds into both left and right-wing conspiracies about the "powers that be" creating a sedated, brainwashed populace. But it has more leftist elements in it. All the bad guys are corporate-looking white guys (or they're scary dreadlocked white guys.) All the good guys are either young white people or they're a person-of-hue. (Who does Neo get wisdom from? The Mystical Negroes--Morpheus and the Oracle. And the Key Maker is Asian.) Everyone's dressed like an urban hipster when they step into the Matrix--no Tucker Carlson's types allowed.

Right wing: Alien and The Thing (No, no. The outsiders want to infiltrate and destroy us!)


I think the Aliens epic is more leftist, with the military trying to save the aliens all the damn time. Oh yeah, and the strong female character.

Laughing Lagomorph
08-13-2007, 08:43 PM
Empire of the Sun: War is a horrific and dehumanizing event.

Hope and Glory: War can be an adventure!

Both are from 1987 and show WWII through the eyes of a young boy.

Spoke
08-13-2007, 08:43 PM
I think the Aliens epic is more leftist, with the military trying to save the aliens all the damn time. Oh yeah, and the strong female character.

It's actually a corporation (not the military) trying to save the aliens. So it does have that anti-corporate vibe going.

cormac262
08-13-2007, 10:58 PM
Or of Matewan?



Would "Hoffa" qualify ? Not only the rise of the union (like "Matewan"), but how, once established, the union itself becomes corrupt and self-serving.

Zebra
08-13-2007, 11:01 PM
Empire of the Sun: War is a horrific and dehumanizing event.

Hope and Glory: War can be an adventure!

Both are from 1987 and show WWII through the eyes of a young boy.


What about The Last Emperor? 1987, WWII (and a bit more) through the eyes of a young boy.

athelas
08-14-2007, 09:42 AM
Right-wing: The Chronicles of Narnia
Left-wing: His Dark Materials

Laughing Lagomorph
08-14-2007, 08:01 PM
What about The Last Emperor? 1987, WWII (and a bit more) through the eyes of a young boy.

Well, its a good movie, sure. But do you consider it left, right or neither?

It really covers a LOT longer historical period than either of the other two though, from his birth through old age.

An Gadaí
08-14-2007, 08:17 PM
I haven't a notion of what the contrasting movie would be but Forrest Gump struck me as quite rightwing.

Laughing Lagomorph
08-14-2007, 08:43 PM
I haven't a notion of what the contrasting movie would be but Forrest Gump struck me as quite rightwing.

I believe Roger Ebert proposed the Tom Cruise flick Born on the Fourth of July as a natural counterpoint to Forrest Gump. I haven't seen that one myself though.

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