Left/Right Movies

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?

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.

No, No, No. Red Dawn wasn’t lunatic fringe. It’s reality is what makes it a classic.

Devout lefty.

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.

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.

How about “The Green Berets” and “MASH”

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”)


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

Yes, because they didn’t go on and on about godless commies and establishing a state-of-nature free republic of gun nuts.

Too late to edit: I meant Anastasio Somoza, not “Simoza” whoever that might be.

Was there ever a movie about heroic Contras?

The director’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers seems to be an allegorical endorsement of blacklisting. (The enemy is among us! Beware!)

On the opposite side of that issue is The Front.

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?


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.

Eh, YMMV. Whatevs.

On the Waterfront (naming names) and The Front

*Reefer Madness * and Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke.

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.