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George H. Smith

Libertarian/Objectivist Movies

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Inspired by the thread of most-watched movies, I thought it would be interesting to have OLers give their lists of movies with strong libertarian and/or Objectivist themes. A brief explanation of why you mentioned a movie would be appreciated. No one need mention The Fountainhead. :rolleyes:

Here are a few that occur to me off the top of my head.

Shenandoah (Jimmy Stewart) -- this film has one the strongest libertarian themes, and some of the best libertarian lines, of any movie I have ever seen.

King Rat -- an anti-authority corporal (George Segal) in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp incurs the resentment of his military superiors for his survival skills.

Abandon Ship -- Tyrone Power takes the responsibility of deciding who should be cast off a lifeboat so that everyone else stands a better chance of surviving a storm. This classic study of an emergency scenario is much better than the similar movie "Lifeboat."

Amadeus -- a study in resentment and revenge brought about by envy.

I would also mention Thunder Bay -- a film about a wildcat oil driller (Jimmy Stewart) whose efforts to drill in the Gulf of Mexico are opposed by local shrimp fishermen -- but maybe this isn't a good time to argue the point. :blink:

Ghs

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In Shenandoah, Jimmy Stewart plays a freethinker who raises his children as Christians only because this was requested by his late wife. This classic scene was pretty gutsy for 1965:

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name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
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Ghs

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Tax Protest

Harry's War

America: Freedom to Fascism (warning, lots of inaccuracies, think Michael Moore as a libertarian)

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The last two minutes of -The Day the Earth Stood Still-, the 1951 version with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. The Gort of that movie was Ayn Rand's ideal objectivist government.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The last two minutes of -The Day the Earth Stood Still-, the 1951 version with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. The Gort of that movie was Ayn Rand's ideal objectivist government.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I never thought of Gort in the manner you describe, but I see your point.

Boy, did the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" -- an environmentalist's wet dream -- stink, big time. Remaking a classic is always problematic, but that had to be one of the worst ever made.

Ghs

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The last two minutes of -The Day the Earth Stood Still-, the 1951 version with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. The Gort of that movie was Ayn Rand's ideal objectivist government.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I never thought of Gort in the manner you describe, but I see your point.

Boy, did the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" -- an environmentalist's wet dream -- stink, big time. Remaking a classic is always problematic, but that had to be one of the worst ever made.

Ghs

The remake was a smelly pile of echo-phreak horse crap.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The last two minutes of -The Day the Earth Stood Still-, the 1951 version with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. The Gort of that movie was Ayn Rand's ideal objectivist government.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I never thought of Gort in the manner you describe, but I see your point.

Boy, did the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" -- an environmentalist's wet dream -- stink, big time. Remaking a classic is always problematic, but that had to be one of the worst ever made.

Ghs

The remake was a smelly pile of echo-phreak horse crap.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Is that an objective or subjective value judgment? B)

Ghs

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Inspired by the thread of most-watched movies, I thought it would be interesting to have OLers give their lists of movies with strong libertarian and/or Objectivist themes. A brief explanation of why you mentioned a movie would be appreciated.

Spartacus.

Slaves revolt against imperial Rome -- and come damned close to winning.

Humans carry themselves like proud humans who know their worth instead of like animated meat.

Beautiful love story, wonderful friendships, great acting, intense drama, unapologetic romanticism, fantastic Alex North score.

My favorite movie of all time, hands down.

Judith

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Inspired by the thread of most-watched movies, I thought it would be interesting to have OLers give their lists of movies with strong libertarian and/or Objectivist themes. A brief explanation of why you mentioned a movie would be appreciated.

Spartacus.

Slaves revolt against imperial Rome -- and come damned close to winning.

Humans carry themselves like proud humans who know their worth instead of like animated meat.

Beautiful love story, wonderful friendships, great acting, intense drama, unapologetic romanticism, fantastic Alex North score.

My favorite movie of all time, hands down.

Judith

The novel by Howard Fast was all these things. Fast was a pinko-stinko Commie leftist, but he sure could write a good novel.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Inspired by the thread of most-watched movies, I thought it would be interesting to have OLers give their lists of movies with strong libertarian and/or Objectivist themes. A brief explanation of why you mentioned a movie would be appreciated.

Spartacus.

Slaves revolt against imperial Rome -- and come damned close to winning.

Humans carry themselves like proud humans who know their worth instead of like animated meat.

Beautiful love story, wonderful friendships, great acting, intense drama, unapologetic romanticism, fantastic Alex North score.

My favorite movie of all time, hands down.

Judith

The novel by Howard Fast was all these things. Fast was a pinko-stinko Commie leftist, but he sure could write a good novel.

Ba'al Chatzaf

The screenplay for Spartacus was written by Dalton Trumbo, a member of the U.S. Communist Party from 1943 until 1948. Trumbo was one of the original Hollywood Ten; after refusing to testify before HUAC, he served 11 months in prison and was blacklisted in Hollywood. According to the Wiki article on Trumbo, he "bragged in The Daily Worker that among the films that communist influence in Hollywood had quashed were adaptations of Arthur Koestler's anti-communist works Darkness at Noon and The Yogi and the Commissar."

Trumbo continued to write screenplays under a pseudonym. Again quoting the Wiki article:

"With the support of Otto Preminger, he received credit for the 1960 film Exodus. Shortly thereafter, Kirk Douglas made public Trumbo's credit for the screenplay for Spartacus, an event which has been cited as the beginning of the end of the blacklist. Trumbo was reinstated in the Writers Guild of America, West, and was credited on all subsequent scripts."

Spartacus has always been an iconic figure for commies. I knew some dedicated commies in college; they were all members of the Spartacus Youth League.

Spartacus is one of my favorite movies as well. I don't care who wrote the screenplay.

Ghs

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We the Living -- which is a wonderful movie -- certainly belongs on this list. I have the feeling that many of you haven't seen it. If so, you're missing a thrilling and uplifting experience.

Barbara

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We the Living -- which is a wonderful movie -- certainly belongs on this list. I have the feeling that many of you haven't seen it. If so, you're missing a thrilling and uplifting experience.

Barbara

You're right, Barbara. I purchased it years ago. Unfortunately the tape was defective. It was complete but some sequences were jumbled and I had to do some in-the-cassette editing.

--Brant

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The last two minutes of -The Day the Earth Stood Still-, the 1951 version with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. The Gort of that movie was Ayn Rand's ideal objectivist government.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I never thought of Gort in the manner you describe, but I see your point.

Boy, did the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" -- an environmentalist's wet dream -- stink, big time. Remaking a classic is always problematic, but that had to be one of the worst ever made.

Ghs

The remake was a smelly pile of echo-phreak horse crap.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Gee, never even had an urge to go see it.

Don't agree about the govm't thingie. But Harold Gray who did Little Orphan Annie had Daddy Warbucks circling the earth with a fleet of flying saucers ready to nuke anybody who used nukes. Probably got the idea from the movie. There were many comics I enjoyed as a boy. Most are now gone. Today I only read Dilbert. I only enjoyed Annie when Daddy was around, frequently with sci-fi overtones. Boy, that guy could make a billion bucks at the drop of a hat. Too bad whenever he appeared he soon was seemingly blown up or something and disappeared so Annie kept getting orphaned. I most enjoyed the comics that told stories with a male orientation.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Try this: The Edge (1997) with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. Almost perfect, except for one or two lines deliverd by Hopkins at the end.

This is a very intense "survival-in-the-widerness" action/thriller. Hopkins plays Charles Morse, an aging billionaire with a much younger beautiful wife, (appropriately played by Elle MacPherson). Arriving at a remote lodge in Alaska with a contingent of crew for a photo-shoot, apparently to assuage his wife, Hopkins, Baldwin and an assistant (Harold Perrineau) soon set-off in a small plane that crashes even in even-more remote lake.

The bulk of the movie is about these three survivors of the crash trying to find their way out of the widerness. One sub-plot involves the interaction between Hopkins and Baldwin (whom Hopkins believes is planning to murder him). They are soon stalked by a Kodiak bear who kills Perrineau's character and clearly has similar dining plans for Hopkins and Baldwin.

Baldwin, in character, plays the stereotypical smarmy Madison Avenue/New York-type who acts on his emotions. He has more than met his match in Hopkins who is cool, collected, intellectual, and views challenges as obstacles to be overcome with reason (or, as the dialog has it, "thinking").

Here is a sample of a conversation shortly after they have survived the plane crash and are trying to assess what to do about the dilemma that they are in:

Charles Morse (Hopkins): "You know, I once read an interesting book which said that most people lost in the wild, they,..they die of shame."

Stephan (Perrineau): "What?"

Charles: "Yeah, see, they die of shame. 'What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?' And so they sit there and they,...die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would have saved their lives."

Robert Green (Baldwin): "And what is that, Charles?"

Charles: "Thinking".

(That's The Edge, used as the title.)

This is the theme of David Mamet's screenplay. How one finds one's way out of the wilderness, while being stalked by a bear, and with one's only companion a man who you are pretty sure wants to kill you.

Great soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith, stressing the beauty of their surronndings while conveying a sense of ominousness.

The movie's dialogue is 99% perfect from an Objectivist standpoint. And the remaining 1%? The last line delivered by Hopkins, who inexplicably tells reporters after surviving the ordeal that his companions saved his life.

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Jerry, thanks for giving me (reminding me of) one more reason to like David Mamet. I already have several.

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I liked The Edge, but the stalking bear was ridiculous.

--Brant

my brother's best friend, Timothy Treadwell, was eaten by a bear

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I liked The Edge, but the stalking bear was ridiculous.

In that Kodiak bears don’t behave that way? Sharks don’t behave as depicted in Jaws either, but both are such great movies. And Bart the Bear, what an actor!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G31h5gbazwU

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Sharks don’t behave as depicted in Jaws either, but both are such great movies.

Some years ago I decided to buy the DVD's of Jaws and Jaws2, after reading aal the raving reviews on the Amazon site, expecting to watch, if not a great film, at least a thrilling adventure. Boy, was that a disappointment... I've seldom seen such bad films, not thrilling at all, but boring, incredibly boring, endless, silly and predictable story, phony cliché characters. I've never understood why people can be so enthusiastic about those films, must be something in their DNA...

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Sharks don’t behave as depicted in Jaws either, but both are such great movies.

Some years ago I decided to buy the DVD's of Jaws and Jaws2, after reading aal the raving reviews on the Amazon site, expecting to watch, if not a great film, at least a thrilling adventure. Boy, was that a disappointment... I've seldom seen such bad films, not thrilling at all, but boring, incredibly boring, endless, silly and predictable story, phony cliché characters. I've never understood why people can be so enthusiastic about those films, must be something in their DNA...

Film making mores were different in the 1970s. You were expected to see these films in theaters. The shark was all in your head right through the boring parts holding it all together with the music. In the first film, btw, they had so much trouble with the shark they were afraid the movie couldn't be salvaged for lack of footage. They gave it over to one of the industry's greatest film editors and she saved the film. You can see the deficiencies in the shark footage anyway.

The film doesn't hold up for your stated reasons and some others. While this isn't true of the first three Star Wars, George Lucas damaged the first one by editing in new scenes he couldn't afford to do originally. They don't properly mesh and fans of the original get a jarring experience. I at least want to see the original exactly as it was first done.

--Brant

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I liked The Edge, but the stalking bear was ridiculous.

In that Kodiak bears don’t behave that way? Sharks don’t behave as depicted in Jaws either, but both are such great movies. And Bart the Bear, what an actor!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G31h5gbazwU

To make a minor point first, "Bart the Bear" is real. But some of the close-ups of the fight scenes used an animatronic bear in place of Bart. There's only so much that you can get a bear to do without risking your life. In fact, there was a recent story of another "trained" bear, used in many TV or movie spots, that turned and killed its owner and trainer.

As for "real" Kodiak/grizzly/brown bears stalking and killing humans, they sure as hell can - and do! There have been several documentaries about these incidents on the Discovery Channel or elsewhere. The programs interviewed the survivors who recounted their being stalked and what happened to their companions who did not survive. To these accounts are added commentaries by the Park Rangers who found the remains and zoologists and animal behaviorists who do their best to explain why the attacks occurred. Most were clearly not provoked.

There are additional horrific stories from the Canadian Provincial Parks. One gruesome incident, a newly-wed couple from Montreal were enjoying their vacation in the Algonquin Provincial Park, which is a mostly unspoiled stretch of forests and thousands of lakes. Perfect for canoeists! This particular couple, paddling on a beautiful remote lake, decided to set up their camp ground on a forested island. They were sure that the island was deserted. It was not.

After several days passed, teams were sent out to look for them by helicopter. The husband (well, at least part of him) was found near their canoe. The wife was nowhere to be seen. An armed party investigated and found what was left of the wife further up on the island. The bear, still on the island, attacked and was killed by multiple gunfire.

There are several accounts from American parks. In one case, two women were hiking and noticed that a bear was following them and getting closer. They had some paraphrenalia to "scare-off" bears. They had no effect. One woman decided to climb a tree all the way to the top.. Lucky for the other woman, who continued running while her tree climber companion became high-rise dining for the bear.

Additionally, German director Werner Herzog, made a long documentary, Grizzly Man (2005), on the fate of a Naturalist/movemaker who lived with Kodiak bears, in a remote part of Alaska, with his girlfriend, making documentaries on how their ferocity was a "myth" (part of Herzog's documentary includes some of this footage). After several years of living in very close proximity to a number of these bears, one or more of the bears decided upon an even closer relationship, and proceeded to eat both of their human friends, despite their vehement protestations.

I'm sure you can find these documentaries on TV or the internet. View them, and then decide if their accounts are real - or "fake." Or, you could visit some of these "crime scenes", look-up a few local bears. Or, if you see one following you, you could stop and find out if it is really stalking, or just desirous of "human companionship." But be wary of the bear's definition of that term. My suggestion, go very well armed. With backup.

Nahh, on second thought, just watch the documentaries! As Objectivists, we may already fit the definition of endangered species.

Edited by Jerry Biggers

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> One woman decided to climb a tree all the way to the top.. Lucky for the other woman, who continued running while her tree climber companion became high-rise dining for the bear.

Jerry, I'm going to have to take away the title of Mr. Sunshine I gave to Brant just yesterday and award it to you.

Your story reminds me of a joke. A man and his wife are out in the woods and a bear starts stalking them. The man just keeps smiling and whistling cheerfully.

Wife: "Don't you know that a man is not able to outrun a bear?"

Husband: "I don't have to be able to outrun a bear; I just have to be able to outrun you."

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> One woman decided to climb a tree all the way to the top.. Lucky for the other woman, who continued running while her tree climber companion became high-rise dining for the bear.

Jerry, I'm going to have to take away the title of Mr. Sunshine I gave to Brant just yesterday and award it to you.

Your story reminds me of a joke. A man and his wife are out in the woods and a bear starts stalking them. The man just keeps smiling and whistling cheerfully.

Wife: "Don't you know that a man is not able to outrun a bear?"

Husband: "I don't have to be able to outrun a bear; I just have to be able to outrun you."

I like it! The joke, that is. As for the appellation you are offering, I'm sure others here are vying for that title, right now. I'll have to bask in its glory for the few seconds that it is mine.

As for my wife vis-a-vis a bear, she obtained a prescription for such confrontations, a little vial of greenish liquid from a Dr. Banner, who has been doing personal research in "anger management." One swig and it's the bear that will have the problem. Better him, than me.

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Thanks for the info, Jerry. Next time I'm in bear country--it's been 37 years--I'm packing a .44 Magnum and maybe a .44 Magnum Ruger carbine which shoots the same bullet.

--Brant

not a ursinatarian

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I am going to have to look back over some of my lists of favorite movies, because I know there are many that fit this thread. For the time being, there are two movies that have been discussed earlier in separate threads on OL that have not yet been mentioned on this thread.

.

The first is Equilibrium (2002), and, if this link works, you should be able to read the thread (and my review) here. As a teaser, I’ll just say here that there is a statue of Atlas struggling to hold the world up – in a society where, by law, no art works are supposed to exist.

.

The second film is The Lives of Others (2006), and its thread is here. Below is a short review of it that I had posted elsewhere.

.

[begin review]

.

“The Lives of Others” (2006). A film written and directed by Florian Hennckel von Donnersmarck.

.

An unforgettable movie that shows collectivism for the horror it is. It is in the German language with English subtitles [Das Leben der Anderen (2006)]. It won a recent Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, which it richly deserved.

.

It portrays a Stasi (secret police) officer of communist East Germany before the end of the Cold War who watches his system work its corruption and ruin on the lives of others, on real people. He is a true believer, but his utopian dreams are starting to sound hollow.

.

We see the lives of intellectuals and artists who are trapped within the insanity of a society of “real existing socialism” with threats of prison and black-listing hanging over their heads. Can good men preserve any traces of their goodness in such a brutal world? Can artists produce if the only client is the State?

.

Socialism sucks – and that is a truth that still has to be told far and wide because it is such a seductive ideology to many. I found myself going through many emotions while seeing this film. I was outrageously angry at the ruling elite’s contempt for human liberty, and I will refrain from telling you the raw expletives that leapt to my mind to describe these monsters. I also was fascinated by the bizarre scientific discipline and methodical routines used for the perverse purposes of totalitarian control. I laughed at some of the sheer absurdities of a rigid socialist system. I shook my head in wonder at the fine writing, acting and filmmaking. And I ended up weeping in release as this great sad, dark but redeeming story wrapped up. A sonata for a good man.

.

[finish review]

.

I highly recommend both films.

.

-Ross Barlow.

.

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I am going to have to look back over some of my lists of favorite movies, because I know there are many that fit this thread. For the time being, there are two movies that have been discussed earlier in separate threads on OL that have not yet been mentioned on this thread.

.

The first is Equilibrium (2002), and, if this link works, you should be able to read the thread (and my review) here. As a teaser, I'll just say here that there is a statue of Atlas struggling to hold the world up – in a society where, by law, no art works are supposed to exist.

.

The second film is The Lives of Others (2006), and its thread is here. Below is a short review of it that I had posted elsewhere.

.

[begin review]

.

"The Lives of Others" (2006). A film written and directed by Florian Hennckel von Donnersmarck.

.

An unforgettable movie that shows collectivism for the horror it is. It is in the German language with English subtitles [Das Leben der Anderen (2006)]. It won a recent Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, which it richly deserved.

.

It portrays a Stasi (secret police) officer of communist East Germany before the end of the Cold War who watches his system work its corruption and ruin on the lives of others, on real people. He is a true believer, but his utopian dreams are starting to sound hollow.

.

We see the lives of intellectuals and artists who are trapped within the insanity of a society of "real existing socialism" with threats of prison and black-listing hanging over their heads. Can good men preserve any traces of their goodness in such a brutal world? Can artists produce if the only client is the State?

.

Socialism sucks – and that is a truth that still has to be told far and wide because it is such a seductive ideology to many. I found myself going through many emotions while seeing this film. I was outrageously angry at the ruling elite's contempt for human liberty, and I will refrain from telling you the raw expletives that leapt to my mind to describe these monsters. I also was fascinated by the bizarre scientific discipline and methodical routines used for the perverse purposes of totalitarian control. I laughed at some of the sheer absurdities of a rigid socialist system. I shook my head in wonder at the fine writing, acting and filmmaking. And I ended up weeping in release as this great sad, dark but redeeming story wrapped up. A sonata for a good man.

.

[finish review]

.

I highly recommend both films.

.

-Ross Barlow.

.

-The Lives of Others- was a tale of redemption. Very moving. The premise was the the inherent goodness of some people cannot be snuffed out by an evil regime.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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