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Mac_the_Nice

Conservative Messaging in Film

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I've only watched parts of that film and wasn't all that impressed.  Too Gothic / melodramatic for my taste.  But the next time it runs I'll give it a fairer shot.  I'm glad you mentioned it.

 

It should be noted, however, that it was panned by Tennessee Williams for miscasting Liz Taylor,* and by Gore Vidal for the ending.  Not too surprising, considering that the film was made in conjunction with the Catholic League of Decency and was tamed down considerably from the play in order to get the approval of the Production Code.

 

* Williams said that the movie made him "throw up" for going far afield from his original play.

 

I think Taylor does a fine job in the film and Kate is really something to watch (Clift is very wooden and halfway not there).

 

But due to the Production Code and the topic at hand one can say the movies is unsatisfactory for both 'sides'. 

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I think Taylor does a fine job in the film and Kate is really something to watch (Clift is very wooden and halfway not there).

 

But due to the Production Code and the topic at hand one can say the movies is unsatisfactory for both 'sides'. 

Hepburn hated the finished product and wrote a terse letter to Williams about it. But I think she was more upset with the way Mankiewicz photographed her. She was so incensed by some of the unflattering close-ups that she refused to work with the director ever again.

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Hepburn hated the finished product and wrote a terse letter to Williams about it. But I think she was more upset with the way Mankiewicz photographed her. She was so incensed by some of the unflattering close-ups that she refused to work with the director ever again.

 

Yes, I read about that but I think those close-ups really worked.    Her character was a very deranged women and Hepburn's face in those close-ups really conveyed that.   To me that is fine acting as well as directing.   

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Yes, I read about that but I think those close-ups really worked.    Her character was a very deranged women and Hepburn's face in those close-ups really conveyed that.   To me that is fine acting as well as directing.   

Yes. In this case, I do side with Mankiewicz-- she should have looked deranged and somewhat hideous in those close-ups; not at all glamorous or appealing. But perhaps at that stage in her life Hepburn didn't want to look her actual age on camera, so she was very fierce with Mankiewicz. But Mankiewicz had the say on final editing and picked shots he wanted, not shots Hepburn wanted.

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Yes. In this case, I do side with Mankiewicz-- she should have looked deranged and somewhat hideous in those close-ups; not at all glamorous or appealing. But perhaps at that stage in her life Hepburn didn't want to look her actual age on camera, so she was very fierce with Mankiewicz. But Mankiewicz had the say on final editing and picked shots he wanted, not shots Hepburn wanted.

Yes, I'm sure even a fabulous talent, wit and secret rebel like Katie Hepburn could be plagued by the same vanity most the rest of us suffer, so . . . I think you've put your finger on it.

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Yes, I'm sure even a fabulous talent, wit and secret rebel like Katie Hepburn could be plagued by the same vanity most the rest of us suffer, so . . . I think you've put your finger on it.

In 1959, Kate still saw herself as a star (even a third-billed one), definitely not as a character actress with unflattering close-ups.

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In 1959, Kate still saw herself as a star (even a third-billed one), definitely not as a character actress with unflattering close-ups.

 

She thought she was "ready for my close up, Mr. Demille'.

 

Deluded aging actresses are not an uncommon phenomenon, it would seem.

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This thread's basic topic reminds me of something that happened a couple years ago when I once opined the thought that my favorite film, "The Best Years of Our Lives", subtly suggested a liberal point-of-view, and which was then immediately challenged as a false premise by a few folks around here, and by one gentleman in particular.

 

I based my supposition on two particular scenes within that film, one being Fredric March's loan officer character butting heads with his fiscally conservative bank manager played by Ray Collins, and the other being the soda counter scene in which an ultra-conservative blowhard played by Ray Teal ultimately gets his "clocked cleaned" by a good overhand right delivered courtesy of Dana Andrews.

 

In this latter example especially, and further considering that director William Wyler and screenwriter Robert E. Sherwood could have probably used any number of other scenarios and other than making Teal's Rightist character unlikable and then the instrument of changing Dana Andrews' Fred Derry character's direction in life and ultimately for the better, I always imagined the filmmakers had this purpose in mind with the way the story played out in final form.

 

(...I sometimes wonder if the gentleman who disagreed with me so fervently ever changed his mind and came around to my way of thinkin' about this...aaah, but alas, because the gentleman in question will no longer converse with me directly around here, I suppose I'll never know the answer to this, huh!!!)

 

LOL

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I think you can pretty much count on said gentleman having not changed in any way.

 

LOL

 

Ya THINK?!!!

 

;)

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This thread's basic topic reminds me of something that happened a couple years ago when I once opined the thought that my favorite film, "The Best Years of Our Lives", subtly suggested a liberal point-of-view, and which was then immediately challenged as a false premise by a few folks around here, and by one gentleman in particular.

 

I based my supposition on two particular scenes within that film, one being Fredric March's loan officer character butting heads with his fiscally conservative bank manager played by Ray Collins, and the other being the soda counter scene in which an ultra-conservative blowhard played by Ray Teal ultimately gets his "clocked cleaned" by a good overhand right delivered courtesy of Dana Andrews.

 

In this latter example especially, and further considering that director William Wyler and screenwriter Robert E. Sherwood could have probably used any number of other scenarios and other than making Teal's Rightist character unlikable and then the instrument of changing Dana Andrews' Fred Derry character's direction in life and ultimately for the better, I always imagined the filmmakers had this purpose in mind with the way the story played out in final form.

 

(...I sometimes wonder if the gentleman who disagreed with me so fervently ever changed his mind and came around to my way of thinkin' about this...aaah, but alas, because the gentleman in question will no longer converse with me directly around here, I suppose I'll never know the answer to this, huh!!!)

 

LOL

 

I need to re-watch that scene with Ray Teal to see his character is really pushing a conservative position.    As I remember it,  it was more of a 'whack a mole' position,  which today (e.g. based on our involvement in Middle East),  is more of a liberal POV  (or isolationist one which to me doesn't fit either a con or lib POV). 

 

(Note: I don't wish to discuss the merits of any said position only in how one classifies what is or is not a con \ lib position).

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I need to re-watch that scene with Ray Teal to see his character is really pushing a conservative position.    As I remember it,  it was more of a 'whack a mole' position,  which today (e.g. based on our involvement in Middle East),  is more of a liberal POV  (or isolationist one which to me doesn't fit either a con or lib POV). 

 

(Note: I don't wish to discuss the merits of any said position only in how one classifies what is or is not a con \ lib position).

 

I'm not so sure your correlation fits here, James. Remember, Teal's Mollett character wasn't an "Isolationist". He advocated America should have sided with the Nazis over the British and Russians, and which I would think would more than imply his leanings to The Right...the Far Right, at least.

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I'm not so sure your correlation fits here, James. Remember, Teal's Mollett character wasn't an "Isolationist". He advocated America should have sided with the Nazis over the British and Russians, and which I would think would more than imply his leanings to The Right...the Far Right, at least.

 

I'm not so sure your correlation fits here, James. Remember, Teal's Mollett character wasn't an "Isolationist". He advocated America should have sided with the Nazis over the British and Russians, and which I would think would more than imply his leanings to The Right...the Far Right, at least.

 

Like I said I couldn't remember what he said,  but I believed he was upset that the USA would have to fight the commies now and therefore another war to end all wars was folly (a POV Bogie's veteran character makes in Key Largo until he decides that whack a mole is our fait).

 

Since you do recall Mollett's POV way better than I do,  does he make it clear he really supported the fascist ideology OR was his POV more along the lines of 'we have to pick a side and there will be less war and death of our citizens if we pick the Nazi side'.    i.e. the side with the lesser evil POV.     I only ask because I don't view the 'side with the lesser evil POV' as taking a ideological stance, but more of a pragmatic one.

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"Juno" (2007) main conservative theme is the importance of family.

 

 

What? What a minute...that's like saying "liberals" or at any rate "non-conservatives" do not care about family. Or families, plural. Or the concept of  "family".

Where did that come from? How come so-called conservatives think they have some kind of ownership over the idea of families?

 

I happen to know many people who are not conservative who have a family, or like families, or who watch Family Guy.

 

I've noticed in the last few years, in both Canada and the States, politicians of all stripes blather on about "families". It's becoming a meaningless catch-word, intended to show  potential voters that the politician is a caring person who supports families.

 

What annoys me the most is when a politican - and the leaders of all three national political parties in Canada have all done this - talks about how "Canadian families work hard", or "Canadian families need a break..." or whatever. Just insert the word "families" somewhere in the speech.

It's really mindless. For one thing, what about all the Canadian (or American, or whatever) citizens who do not have a family or belong to a family or ever intend to have a family?

Political leaders used to just say "Canadians need a break..." (or whatever). Now they always follow the word "Canadian" with  the word "families" . It's just to make them sound user-friendly or something. And it's bullsh!te.

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What? What a minute...that's like saying "liberals" or at any rate "non-conservatives" do not care about family. Or families, plural. Or the concept of  "family".

Where did that come from? How come so-called conservatives think they have some kind of ownership over the idea of families?

 

I happen to know many people who are not conservative who have a family, or like families, or who watch Family Guy.

 

I've noticed in the last few years, in both Canada and the States, politicians of all stripes blather on about "families". It's becoming a meaningless catch-word, intended to show  potential voters that the politician is a caring person who supports families.

 

What annoys me the most is when a politican - and the leaders of all three national political parties in Canada have all done this - talks about how "Canadian families work hard", or "Canadian families need a break..." or whatever. Just insert the word "families" somewhere in the speech.

It's really mindless. For one thing, what about all the Canadian (or American, or whatever) citizens who do not have a family or belong to a family or ever intend to have a family?

Political leaders used to just say "Canadians need a break..." (or whatever). Now they always follow the word "Canadian" with  the word "families" . It's just to make them sound user-friendly or something. And it's bullsh!te.

 

It came from here...

http://usconservatives.about.com/od/conservativehollywood/tp/Top_Conservative_Movies.htm

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I'm not so sure your correlation fits here, James. Remember, Teal's Mollett character wasn't an "Isolationist". He advocated America should have sided with the Nazis over the British and Russians, and which I would think would more than imply his leanings to The Right...the Far Right, at least.

Yeah, Teal's (Mollet) bloviating was way out there, beyond Republican or conservative Democrat mindset of the time.  And I agree on how the character was used to finally pull Andrew's Derry character out of his personal malaise, and set up his turning point.

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Like I said I couldn't remember what he said,  but I believed he was upset that the USA would have to fight the commies now and therefore another war to end all wars was folly (a POV Bogie's veteran character makes in Key Largo until he decides that whack a mole is our fait).

 

Since you do recall Mollett's POV way better than I do,  does he make it clear he really supported the fascist ideology OR was his POV more along the lines of 'we have to pick a side and there will be less war and death of our citizens if we pick the Nazi side'.    i.e. the side with the lesser evil POV.     I only ask because I don't view the 'side with the lesser evil POV' as taking a ideological stance, but more of a pragmatic one.

 

In this case, I suppose it's all left(no pun intended here) to one's interpretation. ;)

 

However, I always got the distinct impression that the underlying reason for Mollett's rant was less the idea of voicing some "long-term strategic benefit" to American foreign policy, but more the idea of his basic overall political mindset.

 

And once again I'll stress the word "subtle" here, as what I think helps make TBYOOL the great classic that it is, is NOT some overt statement about any political leanings it MAY have attempted, but at how subtly any possible "message" within it is presented, and how I feel most great movies attempting to comment upon some social phenomenon are presented.

 

(...they don't hit you over the head with their message)

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What? What a minute...that's like saying "liberals" or at any rate "non-conservatives" do not care about family. Or families, plural. Or the concept of  "family".

Where did that come from? How come so-called conservatives think they have some kind of ownership over the idea of families?

 

I happen to know many people who are not conservative who have a family, or like families, or who watch Family Guy.

 

I've noticed in the last few years, in both Canada and the States, politicians of all stripes blather on about "families". It's becoming a meaningless catch-word, intended to show  potential voters that the politician is a caring person who supports families.

 

What annoys me the most is when a politican - and the leaders of all three national political parties in Canada have all done this - talks about how "Canadian families work hard", or "Canadian families need a break..." or whatever. Just insert the word "families" somewhere in the speech.

It's really mindless. For one thing, what about all the Canadian (or American, or whatever) citizens who do not have a family or belong to a family or ever intend to have a family?

Political leaders used to just say "Canadians need a break..." (or whatever). Now they always follow the word "Canadian" with  the word "families" . It's just to make them sound user-friendly or something. And it's bullsh!te.

 

BRAVO, MissW...BRAVO!!!!

 

Yep, it's kind'a "funny" how I seem to know as many self-proclaimed "Conservatives" who are part of AND in many cases the CAUSE of the dysfunction within their own families as I do some self-proclaimed "Liberals"!

 

(...yep, and I'M so freakin' tired of the FIRST mentioned of these types claiming some freakin' "high ground" on the subject TOO!...yep, BRAVO MissW, BRAVO!!!!!)

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Yeah, Teal's (Mollet) bloviating was way out there, beyond Republican or conservative Democrat mindset of the time.

 

I think this is an excellent point to bring up here Char, as yes, because of the "common enemy" mindset of defeating Nazi Germany had become the predominant American mindset of the time, and that TBYOOL was made during the immediate aftermath of this cause for this commonality in thought among Americans and regardless their own political beliefs, and because the story of this film takes place just before "The Red Scare" would begin to "help" create the political schism we still see today in this country, the idea that Mollett's POV at THAT time was "way out there" from the norms of 1946 America is a very valid point, I'd say.

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Like I said I couldn't remember what he said,  but I believed he was upset that the USA would have to fight the commies now and therefore another war to end all wars was folly (a POV Bogie's veteran character makes in Key Largo until he decides that whack a mole is our fait).

 

Since you do recall Mollett's POV way better than I do,  does he make it clear he really supported the fascist ideology OR was his POV more along the lines of 'we have to pick a side and there will be less war and death of our citizens if we pick the Nazi side'.    i.e. the side with the lesser evil POV.     I only ask because I don't view the 'side with the lesser evil POV' as taking a ideological stance, but more of a pragmatic one.

 

And James, mulling over these questions of yours again just now, I believe I now have two additional and valid reasons for thinking why Wyler and Sherwood might have decided on and probably used the portrayal of the Mollett character as their subtle means to discredit, at least, the Far Right in their film. And before I go on, let me remind you that it is indeed seldom when any person and particularly an artist and in this case a filmmaker, will attempt to present an unfaltering picture of another with whom they might be inclined to agree on issues.

 

And so, first, it's not only WHAT Mollett is saying but also HOW adamant he is about his opinion, and thus comes readily across as a "True Believer"...in this case as a "true believer" in the Far Rightist dogma of Nazism.

 

And secondly, when Homer asks him what he's "selling", Moffett replies, "Just good ol' Americanism!", and which is often a ploy used by Rightist Americans especially to curry support to their cause and opinions, and as I'm sure you know.

 

I mean, there certainly was a reason why the German-American Bund hung up a big ol' picture of George Washington inside NYC's Madison Square Garden during their little shindig in 1939, ya know.

 

MADISON_SQ_GARDEN_1939_jpg.jpg

 

(...and I'll bet there were few Lefties inside that arena THAT night!)  LOL

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Good point about the ax handle scene, Jake. For many at the time, that would be an obvious reference to Lester Maddox passing out ax handles to keep his place of business segregated.

 

A couple of obvious conservative messages from the 1980s, both of which have been discussed here before. In An Officer and a Gentleman Richard Gere finds salvation through military service, which lets us know that the anti-establishment 1960s and early 1970s are dead. It would make an amusing and instructive double feature with Easy Rider.

 

In the original Ghostbusters the human villain, played by William Atherton, works for the EPA. Remember Bill Murray's crude attack on him, which can't be spelled out here? "Hey, ****less. This man has no ****." Environmental protection = lack of masculinity.

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