Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
JamesStewartFan95

Cringey Moments in Otherwise Good Movies

Recommended Posts

I don’t usually try to provoke controversy with my posts, but I was watching The Philadelphia Story tonight and I came across a moment in the movie that I had forgot about since my last viewing. Liz Imrie jokingly uses a racial slur to refer to African-Americans during her and Mike Connor’s entrance into the Lord mansion. It made me groan, not enough to ruin the rest of the movie (Uncle Willie’s habit of pinching his niece’s bottoms doesn’t help matters any!), but it got me to wondering. Does anybody else have any films that they love that have cringey moments in them, involving racial or gender-based things that were acceptable back then, but briefly take you out of the movie nowadays?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well JSF, there's always THIS scene in this famed Civil War flick here which now days often seems to arouse a bit of controversy from those inclined to apply modern sensibilities to films made years and years ago, ya know...

68f2a4a8bc14355827823fa196bd1425.jpg

(...and back in '39, I'll betcha ANYTHING the overall reaction by the audiences who in the very next scene would see the female in question here waking up in bed the next morning with a big ol' smile on her face and humming a song, was probably one more of mild amusement than it was of one shocked at the idea of marital rape and as it's now often viewed by many today)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well JSF, there's always THIS scene in this famed Civil War flick here which now days often seems to arouse a bit of controversy from those inclined to apply modern sensibilities to films made years and years ago, ya know...

68f2a4a8bc14355827823fa196bd1425.jpg

(...and back in '39, I'll betcha ANYTHING the overall reaction by the audiences who in the very next scene would see the female in question here waking up in bed the next morning with a big ol' smile on her face and humming a song, was probably one more of mild amusement than it was of one shocked at the idea of marital rape and as it's now often viewed by many today)

she must've fought him off like a banshee.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any movie where the husband spanks the wife as a form of "punishment" (read: not out of any sexual fetish that either or both may have).  Such as John Wayne spanking Maureen O'Hara in McClintock!  There are also a couple episodes of I Love Lucy where Ricky spanks Lucy.

I find the spanking so infantilizing and feel second-hand embarrassment for the female character involved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JamesStewartFan95 said:

I don’t usually try to provoke controversy with my posts, but I was watching The Philadelphia Story tonight and I came across a moment in the movie that I had forgot about since my last viewing. Liz Imrie jokingly uses a racial slur to refer to African-Americans during her and Mike Connor’s entrance into the Lord mansion. It made me groan, not enough to ruin the rest of the movie (Uncle Willie’s habit of pinching his niece’s bottoms doesn’t help matters any!), but it got me to wondering. Does anybody else have any films that they love that have cringey moments in them, involving racial or gender-based things that were acceptable back then, but briefly take you out of the movie nowadays?

These just cause me to shake my head in a bit of sadness, but....

There's the  PICKANINNY reference made in HIS GIRL FRIDAY, and...........

HOTTENTOT references made in both THE WIZARD OF OZ and LIFE WITH FATHER.  

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

These just cause me to shake my head in a bit of sadness, but....

There's the  PICKANINNY reference made in HIS GIRL FRIDAY, and...........

HOTTENTOT references made in both THE WIZARD OF OZ and LIFE WITH FATHER.  

Sepiatone

Many times the portrayal of African-American characters, like the bartender in The Palm Beach Story, is horrible.  Sam in Casablanca is one of the more positive portrayals that I can think of.

JamesStewartFan, is the word you're thinking of in The Philadelphia Story, "d a r k i e" ? I've heard that mentioned in films before and it's horrible.  In the Errol Flynn movie, Four's a Crowd, Rosalind Russell refers to the shoe-shine man as a "colored boot black." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also the beginning of the film, when Tracy Lord is pushed down to the ground by C.K. Dexter Haven (a Main Line name if there ever was one).

In Casablanca, I cringe when I hear Ilsa ask about the "boy" playing the piano.   Totally unnecessary.  I've not seen the play on which it was based (Everybody Comes to Rick's), so I don't know if the same unfortunate usage is in the play's script.  But in the play, Ilsa is an American, so it's plausible that it is.  It might be worse.  In the play, Sam doesn't even merit a name - he is called "The Rabbit."  

This thread could go on forever - there are so many.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Many times the portrayal of African-American characters, like the bartender in The Palm Beach Story, is horrible.  Sam in Casablanca is one of the more positive portrayals that I can think of.

JamesStewartFan, is the word you're thinking of in The Philadelphia Story, "d a r k i e" ? I've heard that mentioned in films before and it's horrible.  In the Errol Flynn movie, Four's a Crowd, Rosalind Russell refers to the shoe-shine man as a "colored boot black." 

Same word as used in His Girl Friday, speedracer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

.  In the Errol Flynn movie, Four's a Crowd, Rosalind Russell refers to the shoe-shine man as a "colored boot black." 

But from what some older African-Americans have told me, and my Grandmother also remembered....

In the '30's and beyond, "colored" was more acceptable to African-Americans than being called "black".   And CERTAINLY better received than "n***er".  And "boot black" was a common name for shoe shine guys of ANY "color".  ;) And too, how many times have you heard, in more recent times, references to "Women(and people) of color" when advertising some cosmetic products? 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, JamesStewartFan95 said:

Same word as used in His Girl Friday, speedracer.

I'll have to re-watch His Girl Friday, I cannot recall what word was used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

But from what some older African-Americans have told me, and my Grandmother also remembered....

In the '30's and beyond, "colored" was more acceptable to African-Americans than being called "black".   And CERTAINLY better received than "n***er".  And "boot black" was a common name for shoe shine guys of ANY "color".  ;) And too, how many times have you heard, in more recent times, references to "Women(and people) of color" when advertising some cosmetic products? 

Sepiatone

Re: "colored" versus "black" I guess I can see that.  The word "black" has a certain crass, harsh quality about it.  The word "colored" sounds nicer.

I always find it weird in the credits when they have to use "colored" as a modifier for the character. E.g. "colored waiter" when in fact, there was only one waiter featured! 

Re: "boot black" thanks for that.  I was thinking it had to do with shoe shining, but then I didn't know if a shoe shiner was big enough to warrant its own terminology.

I have heard the "women and people of color modifier" used for a variety of things. I suppose for cosmetics, at least the people of color part would make sense as an African-American person would need different colors of cosmetics than a white person.  For hair-care products, this also makes sense as people from different nationalities can have different textured hair.

What kills me is when products have to have separate products for men and women, when it doesn't matter.  Like BIC had a line of women's pens awhile back.  The only difference I think was that the pens were pink. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't remember The Bad and the Beautiful that much but when Kirk Douglas does his off-the-rails temper tantrum on Lana, it seems so overdone that i couldn't believe what I was looking at. It was as if it was a scene added later in the shooting and the actor had forgotten who he was. Then following that, Lana is in a car driving like a maniac having a hissy fit that is so poorly done that I found myself acutely embarrassed for her. I'm not sure whether this is of the cringy mode, or whether it might be given full what-the-fuh status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ghost Breakers is one of my favourite comedy horror films. But it's uncomfortable to me whenever Bob Hope's cracks a joke in reference to Willie Best's skin colour (which happens around five times in the film). I asked a black friend of mine to share the film with me (she had loved Hope's Cat and the Canary the day before, a film without racial jokes, so I thought she'd like this one too). She walked out on Ghost Breakers at about the two thirds point right after Hope had made another skin colour joke about Best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most cringe-worthy moment I've ever experienced was in a gay-themed movie called Chuck and Buck (2000).  It's not politically incorrect or anything like that,  It's just UTTERLY cringe-worthy.  I can't quote it here, but anyone who has seen the film will know what I'm referring to. A friend showed me the film several years ago, and I nearly ran out of the room.

If you want to see the scene in question, google Chuck and Buck We should play a game and watch the clip. (I could post a link, but I won't.)

Here's an excerpt from a Roger Ebert review:

"What is the movie about? It seems to be about buried sexuality or arrested development, but it's also a fascinating study of behavior that violates the rules. Most of us operate within a set of conventions and instincts that lead us through conversations and relationships. We know precisely how close we are to one another, and our behavior reflects that. Some people, through ignorance or hostility, don't observe the rules. How should we handle them? Chuck may have grown up normally while Buck got stuck behind, but in their own personal war, Buck has all the best moves."

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of Marlon Brando's scenes in Sayonara.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Many times the portrayal of African-American characters, like the bartender in The Palm Beach Story, is horrible.  Sam in Casablanca is one of the more positive portrayals that I can think of.

JamesStewartFan, is the word you're thinking of in The Philadelphia Story, "d a r k i e" ? I've heard that mentioned in films before and it's horrible.  In the Errol Flynn movie, Four's a Crowd, Rosalind Russell refers to the shoe-shine man as a "colored boot black." 

The word, sadly, is pickaninny. Ugh! That felt so wrong. I need to wash after that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Fedya said:

All of Marlon Brando's scenes in Sayonara.

I believe you are thinking of The Teahouse of the August Moon, Fedya.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Holiday Inn but, like a lot of people today, I find the "Abraham" scenes with the cast in black-face to be very disconcerting.

Particularly cringe-worthy is the lead-in scene where Bing is telling Marjorie Reynolds that they'll be doing the number in black-face.  (His motivation is to disguise her identity so that old pal Fred doesn't take her away as his new dancing partner.)  She responds by saying something like, "And I thought I was going to be so pretty."  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think today it's only the weak of heart and mind that get overwrought about the "Abraham" segment of HOLIDAY INN.   Most everyone else sees it for what it was intended to be.  And it WASN'T intended to be offensive to anyone.   Just another case of people bringing contemporary late 20th century-21st century attitudes to a 1942 movie.  As for Reynolds........

She just didn't realize "black is beautiful".  ;)

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I think today it's only the weak of heart and mind that get overwrought about the "Abraham" segment of HOLIDAY INN.   Most everyone else sees it for what it was intended to be.  And it WASN'T intended to be offensive to anyone.   Just another case of people bringing contemporary late 20th century-21st century attitudes to a 1942 movie.  As for Reynolds........

She just didn't realize "black is beautiful".  ;)

Sepiatone

I completely agree.  Although I don't understand how, even 78 years ago, black-face could have been viewed as anything but a grotesque and demeaning lampoon of African Americans, I know that it was actually seen by many performers and viewers of the time as just another form of entertainment, without any offense being intended. 

But even though I know that, I'm not seeing Holiday Inn with 1942 eyes, so when I watch it, I know that the black-face scenes can and do offend people now, even if that wasn't intended then.  It doesn't stop me from watching and enjoying that movie, or many others with scenes that are now considered racially insensitive.  I never forget that those movies were from a very different era when people, for the most part, had a different point of view on such things.

As for Marjorie Reynolds' cringe-worthy line, "And I thought I was going to be so pretty," I'm sure it wasn't intended to offend.  It was more likely intended to mean that she was sorry her natural appearance wasn't going to be seen.  The next line, "That's what I get for thinking so well of myself," reflects that the character knew she was too caught up in thinking of herself as naturally attractive and deserved to be brought down to earth.  But once again, heard with modern ears, rather than 1942 ears, it sounds like Marjorie is saying that a black face can't be pretty.  Not intended as offensive, but I can see how it could reasonably be interpreted that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really, I was just "cracking wise" about the Reynolds line.  :D

Sepiatone

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Really, I was just "cracking wise" about the Reynolds line.  :D

Sepiatone

That's the way I took it.  At the same time, it was a good way to make the point that I was alluding to. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2020 at 1:09 PM, txfilmfan said:

There's also the beginning of the film, when Tracy Lord is pushed down to the ground by C.K. Dexter Haven (a Main Line name if there ever was one).

In Casablanca, I cringe when I hear Ilsa ask about the "boy" playing the piano.   Totally unnecessary.  I've not seen the play on which it was based (Everybody Comes to Rick's), so I don't know if the same unfortunate usage is in the play's script.  But in the play, Ilsa is an American, so it's plausible that it is.  It might be worse.  In the play, Sam doesn't even merit a name - he is called "The Rabbit."  

This thread could go on forever - there are so many.

 

The first movie I thought of was CASABLANCA and INGRID BERGMAN referring to DOOLEY WILSON as "the boy".  I typically exclaim at the TV: "He's not a boy!  He's a MAN!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this fits in this category, but whenever I watch Gentleman's Agreement I'lm always a bit startled at the frankness of some of the dialogue, particularly Miss Wales (June Havoc) expressing her concern to Phil Green about allowing a certain "type" of Jew to work at the magazine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2020 at 4:37 PM, JamesStewartFan95 said:

I believe you are thinking of The Teahouse of the August Moon, Fedya.

No, I'm thinking of Sayonara.  The storyline of the Red Buttons-Miyoshi Umeki relationship is great, and every time Brando shows up on screen it brings the movie to a screeching halt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...