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What are the best conservative movies of the past 25 years ?
HOTAIR.COM ^ | Jan 15,2009 | Ed Morrisey

Posted on 01/15/2009 6:53:12 PM PST by SeekAndFind

John J. Miller at The Corner asks the question:

What are the best conservative movies of the last 25 years? This cinema epoch begins roughly with the release of Red Dawn in 1984.

I might be happy if I could find 25 bona-fide conservative movies at all in the past 25 years. I’m afraid that most of what Miller will get in response will be of the Red Dawn variety, since the only place safe for conservative themes in Hollywood has been action films. Red Dawn itself had that in spades, but it was also a rather dreadful movie with more scenery-chewing than one might imagine without William Shatner. I watched it again recently and found it rather embarrassing, except for the brief appearance by Powers Booth. “AVENGE MEEEEEEEE!”

There have to be better examples of conservative movies that we can suggest to Miller. I have a few, and will add those suggested in the comments in updates, or at least the ones that make some sense. Here are my starters:

* The Great Raid (2005) - Based on a true story and managed to mostly stick to it, this film also committed the apparently unpardonable sin of telling the truth about the brutal Japanese occupation of the Philippines and their treatment of POWs. It exemplifies honor, courage, resistance to evil, and risking lives to save others.

* Saving Private Ryan (1998) - For many of the same reasons as The Great Raid, made even more clear by the highly realistic battle scenes, which make clear the sacrifice asked and made.

* Requiem for a Dream (2000) - Harrowing depiction of the destruction of lives from drug addiction, even from prescription drugs. Definitely not for everyone, but brilliant in every aspect of production. In the end, the main characters lose their souls, their freedom, and their minds. Perhaps Ellen Burstyn’s best performance.

* United 93 (2006) - Harrowing and heartrending depiction of the 9/11 flight that didn’t hit its intended target, thanks to the heroism of the passengers on the flight. Facing certain death, they fought back against the Islamist terrorists, becoming the first Americans to do so on that awful day.

* Glory (1989) - The true story of the Massachusetts 54th in the Civil War, which led an ill-starred assault on a fortified position for the Union and suffered massive casualties. The all-black regiment fought for freedom, dignity, and honor, and gave their lives gladly for those causes. Great performances by Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman make this highly compelling.

* Shattered Glass (2003) - The story of the first round of fabrication at The New Republic, with an unexpectedly excellent performance from Hayden Christenson as Stephen Glass, the serial fabulist who succeeded by telling lies about the right people — conservatives. The film does a good job of pointing that fact out.

* Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) - The trilogy should occupy one spot, but it’s an important one. In the fantasy realm, it speaks to true evil and the need to fight it, even to the death. The final battle, in which Aragorn attempts to sacrifice his entire army so that Frodo can complete the quest, has one of the most stirring battle speeches in film history. No one in this film argues for moral equivalency or the idea that Sauron might just be misunderstood.

I know I’m missing a few, so let’s hear from Hot Air readers. Be sure to explain your suggestions in the comments.

Update: The best film you never saw: The Stoning of Soraya M (2008). Read my review here. Unfortunately, it’s never made it into wide release, but it should be required viewing for those interested in human freedom. Made even better by the surprisingly subtle performances of the entire cast.

Update II: The comments section has some great suggestions. Let me add a few that deserve mention:

* The Incredibles (2004) - Can’t believe I missed this one. It focuses on the strength of a family that works together as well as rips the notion that talented people somehow pose a threat to everyone else. And it’s also flat-out fun for all ages.

* Gettysburg (1993) - Excellent, fact-based depiction of the bravery and courage on both sides of this battle.

* 300 (2006) - I’m not normally a big fan of the graphic-novel approach to storytelling, but it works in the story of the Greeks at Thermopylae. Self-sacrifice for a greater good gets a boost from highly stylized filmmaking. Not for all tastes, but for its genre, excellent.

* Braveheart (1995) - Worthy, I think, for its emphasis on resistance to tyranny and defense of homeland against foreign rule. Historical inaccuracies mar this somewhat, especially the disappearance of the bridge from the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Still excellent, though, but The Patriot is hobbled badly by its anti-British smears.

* Juno (2007) - Interesting view of teen pregnancy and the choice to give birth rather than abort. Not really ideological, but it has much more authenticity than most teen dramedies, and really a beautiful little movie.

* Team America: World Police (2004) - A twisted satire of conservative values on defense that winds up being itself a defense of conservative values. Profane as it possibly can get and with one really disturbing scene that got it an NC-17 rating until it was cut, Team America winds up providing one of the best explanations of why we need people willing to fight terrorists and tyrants … which I can’t quote here.

* The Chronicles of Narnia (2005) - I’ve only seen the first movie, which made C. S. Lewis’ allegory on Christianity rather explicit. Good movie.

* Rudy (1993) - Hard work, not feeling sorry for yourself, faith, and love all make for one of the best movies ever — and another one I can’t believe I didn’t recall in the initial post.

* Cinderella Man (2005) - Definitely a worthy entry. James J. Braddock goes back to boxing to rescue his family from poverty, and winds up winning the championship.

* An American Carol (2008) - I thought it was OK, but many others in the comments think it was better.

I’ll keep checking back, but remember that we’re looking at 1984 forward. We’re getting some excellent suggestions for earlier movies, but we want to focus on this particular time period.

Update III: Definitely on the list: Serenity (2005), which attacks Utopianism as the excuse for totalitarianism that it is. Shockingly good sci-fi movie on its own, perhaps the best in the last 25 years, it’s even better as the follow-up to the doomed Firefly television series.

Update IV: I can see that I’ll not get much other work done today. Two more worthy of consideration, both true stories:

* Amistad (1997) - Recounts the true story of how John Quincy Adams defended captured Africans for their rebellion on board a slave ship, and how he won their freedom.

* Amazing Grace (2006) - A biography of William Wilberforce, who led the fight in Great Britain to end the slave trade.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: conservative; gettysburg; movies; ronmaxwell
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Why isn't THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST included ?
1 posted on 01/15/2009 6:53:12 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Some people would include FORREST GUMP in the list but many other conservatives disagree. I’d like to hear both sides of the issue.


2 posted on 01/15/2009 6:54:51 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
"The Postman"

/johnny

3 posted on 01/15/2009 6:56:36 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What about “Hanoi Hilton?”


4 posted on 01/15/2009 6:57:20 PM PST by RandyGH (Democrats--So far left they've left America)
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To: SeekAndFind
Many John Wayne movies...
5 posted on 01/15/2009 6:58:06 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: SeekAndFind

Many Clint Eastwood movies...


6 posted on 01/15/2009 6:59:01 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hmmmm. Scroll back one more year to 1983 and catch “Uncommon Valor”. Great movie, IMHO.


7 posted on 01/15/2009 6:59:08 PM PST by Hegemony Cricket (The emporer has no pedigree.)
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To: 2banana

Not in the last 25 years, I think.


8 posted on 01/15/2009 7:00:12 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: 2banana
This list only covers movies from the last 25 years.
9 posted on 01/15/2009 7:00:29 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: SeekAndFind

Call me crazy, but Field of Dreams should be on the list. It honors both baseball AND fathers. Can’t get more true-blue American (and conservative) than that. :-)


10 posted on 01/15/2009 7:01:06 PM PST by joejm65
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To: JRandomFreeper
The Postman was not included because it was an embarrassment to moviedom.
11 posted on 01/15/2009 7:01:30 PM PST by muleskinner ("You know the Germans always make good stuff')
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To: RandyGH

I would like to add the following to the list :

Patton ( May be too old to make the 25 year cut )
The Pianist
We Were Soldiers
Defiance
Black Hawk Down
The Patriot
Life Is Beautiful
Bella
and the latest one from Clint Eastwood -— Gran Torino

Also, would anyone want to include Spider Man 1 in the mix ?


12 posted on 01/15/2009 7:01:31 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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Bella
Expelled
End of the Spear


13 posted on 01/15/2009 7:02:27 PM PST by CounterCounterCulture
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To: 2banana
Many John Wayne movies...

Only the last 25 years my friend. If we included every movie since the beginning of film history, we'd have to include hundreds of films made prior to the Boomer generation.
14 posted on 01/15/2009 7:03:34 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Kill the Commies (an independent Bollywood production with singing and dancing.)
15 posted on 01/15/2009 7:03:58 PM PST by Revolting cat! (After all is said and done I'm goodier goodier than you!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Patton is one of my all-time favorite films. (It was released almost 40 years ago).
16 posted on 01/15/2009 7:04:07 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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Stand and Deliver (1988)


17 posted on 01/15/2009 7:04:14 PM PST by CounterCounterCulture
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To: SeekAndFind

The Great Escape


18 posted on 01/15/2009 7:04:32 PM PST by razorback-bert (Save the planet...it is the only known one with beer!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Barbershop

A "coming of age" story about the son of a deceased barber, who takes over then sells his father's barbershop, but not before he learns to understand how his father could run the business day after day for his family.

Gattaca

In a future where the genetically engineered are given preference and the natural born are stopped from succeeding at birth, a naturall born man does not accept the fate society has in store for him, and pursues his own dreams.

Pursuit of Happyness

A man tries to better himself against nearly overwhelming odds to provide for his son.

19 posted on 01/15/2009 7:04:40 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: CounterCounterCulture

I’d like to include THE MISSION: Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons team up to make a tour de force about human freedom vs. human oppression in South America, as Catholic Church abandons Christian natives to Portuguese slavers because it’s politically expedient.

THE UNTOUCHABLES seems like a good conservative movie. It celebrates bravery, duty and anti-corruption. Sean Connery was absolutely brilliant in that movie as the incorruptible cop. Needs to be watched again in light of what’s happening in Chicago today.


20 posted on 01/15/2009 7:06:41 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: muleskinner
I could have said "Silent Running".

/johnny

21 posted on 01/15/2009 7:06:44 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Team America winds up providing one of the best explanations of why we need people willing to fight terrorists and tyrants … which I can’t quote here.

Kinda says it all.

22 posted on 01/15/2009 7:06:49 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (Teachers open the door. It's up to you to enter. Before the late bell. When I close the door.)
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To: razorback-bert
The Great Escape

TOO OLD. Doesn't make the Last 25 years cut.
23 posted on 01/15/2009 7:07:24 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Tanniker Smith
Team America winds up providing one of the best explanations of why we need people willing to fight terrorists and tyrants

The problem with this movie is it pushes crassness, toilet humor and other things conservatives dislike to the disgusting limit in order to ridicule the Hollywood crowd.
24 posted on 01/15/2009 7:09:03 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Idiocracy—Amusing portrayal of the future if we continue down the current pop culture secular trail....


25 posted on 01/15/2009 7:10:13 PM PST by Fu-fu2
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To: SeekAndFind
If I may roll it back 40 Years

To Sir with Love - 1967

Personal responsibility
Respect for authority
Grace under fire with race baiting

The Lord of the Rings (all of them)
The Passion of Christ

Those 4 movies drastically outshine all others
in the last 25 years

26 posted on 01/15/2009 7:10:32 PM PST by HangnJudge
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To: SeekAndFind
Glory and Gettysburg were lacking.

Gods and Generals....however.....excellent

27 posted on 01/15/2009 7:10:35 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: SeekAndFind
TA got a lot right even though I had to fast forward through the one really super offensive scene.

Matt Damon.....

28 posted on 01/15/2009 7:12:31 PM PST by wally_bert (Tactical Is Still Missing A Chair! Star Wreck In The Pirkinning......)
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To: SeekAndFind

Tears of the Sun. Navy SEALs take up a larger mission. Take a stand against Genocide and safeguard the last best hope for Freedom amidst inhumanity.

Rambo IV. I’ve always liked Rambo but Rambo IV is icing on the cake. Get rid of the gory battle scenes and it still stands out. Rambo gets Redemption, fights a cause of his own choosing and takes a stand against tyranny.

Would Live Free or Die Hard fit the bill?


29 posted on 01/15/2009 7:12:43 PM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: SeekAndFind
I blanked on the 25 year part. Thought it was the top 25 ever.

Since I've only watched kids movies and 'Postman' in the last 25 years.... "Antz".

30 posted on 01/15/2009 7:12:46 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: 2banana
Unforgiven
31 posted on 01/15/2009 7:13:37 PM PST by seowulf (Discipline knows no emotion and frequently runs counter to the whims of panic or elation.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

OK, would you consider Sylvester Stallone’s — Rocky a conservative movie ?


32 posted on 01/15/2009 7:13:49 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

One of my favorites, and my husband and I quote from Forrest Gump all the time. We even named our puppy Forrest, since we got him when the movie was out and we couldn’t come up with a great name, we decided Forrest would be a great name, and it was. AND that dog “was a runnin’ fool”.


33 posted on 01/15/2009 7:13:56 PM PST by TheConservativeParty ("A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not why the ship was built." by The First Gal of AK)
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To: Pelagius of Asturias

Oh, and I consider the new 3:10 to Yuma a conservative flick.


34 posted on 01/15/2009 7:14:15 PM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: SeekAndFind

Dirty Dancing


35 posted on 01/15/2009 7:14:53 PM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: All
Team America winds up providing one of the best explanations of why we need people willing to fight terrorists and tyrants … which I can’t quote here.

Can someone tell me what this answer is?

Thanks!
36 posted on 01/15/2009 7:15:19 PM PST by roses of sharon ("No socialist system can be established without a political police.", Churchill -1945)
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To: SeekAndFind

Blast From the Past (1999)


37 posted on 01/15/2009 7:15:36 PM PST by donna (Synonyms: Feminism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism)
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To: SeekAndFind
Team America winds up providing one of the best explanations of why we need people willing to fight terrorists and tyrants … which I can’t quote here.

yes, but it does it in a pretty funny way. granted, not for everyone.
and to repeat something I told someone at a church function years ago (probably during South Park's first or second season): South Park doesn't really bother me. What will bother me is what comes after it. The SP people has a sense of where and when to push the line and for what purpose (they don't always succeed in this, I'll grant you). I'm more worried about the imitators that just want to use foul language and crass routines just because they can.

38 posted on 01/15/2009 7:15:39 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (Teachers open the door. It's up to you to enter. Before the late bell. When I close the door.)
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To: lilylangtree
Dirty Dancing

I'd be interested in reading your explanation as to why you would include this flick...
39 posted on 01/15/2009 7:16:00 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: JRandomFreeper

The Postman was a great film. kevin costner is a pant load but it’s still a great, great movie.


40 posted on 01/15/2009 7:16:25 PM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Sylvester Stallone’s — Rocky a conservative movie ?

Only to the extent that the big capable guy keeps getting beat and keeps trying to be a nice guy because he's got obvious brain trauma. That fairly well sums up the alleged 'conservatives' we have in Congress.

/johnny

41 posted on 01/15/2009 7:16:53 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: muleskinner; JRandomFreeper

I liked The Postman. I never understood what was so bad about it.


42 posted on 01/15/2009 7:17:33 PM PST by donna (Synonyms: Feminism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism)
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To: SeekAndFind

Forrest Gump was a pathetic comedy that was more like a fairy tale.

I wouldn’t consider it conservative either, with the AIDS glorification.


43 posted on 01/15/2009 7:17:51 PM PST by GreyMountainReagan (Liberals really intend to increase the misery through their actions. Gives them power)
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To: joejm65
Call me crazy, but Field of Dreams should be on the list.

Well yes, but this is supposed to be a list of good movies.

44 posted on 01/15/2009 7:18:10 PM PST by eclecticEel (In short, I want Obama given the same respect and deference that Democrats have given George Bush)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t see the conservative message in Forest Gump.


45 posted on 01/15/2009 7:19:51 PM PST by ElayneJ
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To: SeekAndFind

WOLVERINES!!!

nuff said.


46 posted on 01/15/2009 7:20:08 PM PST by GreyMountainReagan (Liberals really intend to increase the misery through their actions. Gives them power)
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To: roses of sharon

http://www.bebo.com/FlashBox.jsp?FlashBoxId=4509025973&;

(Warning, very explicit, but very funny language.)


47 posted on 01/15/2009 7:20:44 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm
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To: Vince Ferrer

Here, here for Barbershop... I was just going to include that one.


48 posted on 01/15/2009 7:21:31 PM PST by Cheesel (The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.)
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To: Fu-fu2

I found that one amusing.


49 posted on 01/15/2009 7:21:43 PM PST by irishtenor (Check out my blog at http://boompa53.blogspot.com/)
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To: SeekAndFind

ROCKY IV is pretty good also.


50 posted on 01/15/2009 7:22:42 PM PST by GreyMountainReagan (Liberals really intend to increase the misery through their actions. Gives them power)
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