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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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To: SeekAndFind
Why 25 years?

Desperate Hours with Humphrey Bogart (as the criminal).

Fredic March is a sovereign citizen who endures a home invasion and is treated with deference and respect by both Federal LEO and the local Sheriff.

HE makes the decisions as to how HE will save his wife and children. The officers are just back-up and accessories.

1955. The swan song of the American Citizen.

You will not soon see their like again.

Best regards,

61 posted on 01/15/2009 7:26:45 PM PST by Copernicus (California Grandmother view on Gun Control
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To: SeekAndFind

ok how about liberal movies...

ummmmm that would be ALL THE REST

62 posted on 01/15/2009 7:27:07 PM PST by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: SeekAndFind

Lord of the Rings is obvious, how about Braveheart? A conservative classic. “What would you have without freedom?”

63 posted on 01/15/2009 7:27:27 PM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : " How would my treasury secretary know to pay taxes?")
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To: SeekAndFind

Probably not a real well-known film, but for children’s fare, I think Shiloh (1996) is a definite keeper.

Not going to give much away, but beyond the story of a boy trying to save an abused beagle hunting dog, there’s much that would resonate with conservatives: The importance of keeping one’s word, the lesson that doing the wrong thing for the right reason is still doing wrong, and the lesson that if you want something bad enough, you’ll work hard for it.

64 posted on 01/15/2009 7:27:30 PM PST by DemforBush (Sarah Sarah Sarah!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Batman — Dark Knight ???

65 posted on 01/15/2009 7:29:03 PM PST by libh8er
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To: perfect_rovian_storm
LOLOL, omg!

Love that music playing when he is in the alley, hilarious.

66 posted on 01/15/2009 7:29:37 PM PST by roses of sharon ("No socialist system can be established without a political police.", Churchill -1945)
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To: SeekAndFind

The theme of Forrest Gump that I viewed as conservative it would be that an ‘ordinary’ guy with particularly steep challenges can have a significant positive impact on the people around him as he lives a free and imaginative life.

Hadn’t seen ‘An American Carol’ but am suspicious of movies tailor made or labeled for a particular audience. Liberal movies never declare themselves as for liberals - they just are. A good movie shouldn’t have to label itself into an ideological ghetto.

67 posted on 01/15/2009 7:29:41 PM PST by posterchild (Endowed by my Creator with certain inalienable rights.)
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To: posterchild

It had George Washington and General George S. Patton in it and portrayed them positively.

The only time you would see both men in a modern hollywood film is a modern adaption of Dante’s Inferno.

68 posted on 01/15/2009 7:31:37 PM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: joejm65

OK Crazy but I don’t see it.

69 posted on 01/15/2009 7:32:08 PM PST by GreyMountainReagan (Liberals really intend to increase the misery through their actions. Gives them power)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I’ve always thought that there are 10-gay-writers in Hollywood who are responsible for movies and TV. They must get just furious when one slips by them, LOL.

70 posted on 01/15/2009 7:32:23 PM PST by donna (Synonyms: Feminism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism)
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To: SeekAndFind
OK, would you consider Sylvester Stallone’s — Rocky a conservative movie ?

Some of them, for sure...and the last one, definitely.

I remember this scene, and it - and more than a few others in the movie - made me weep.

"I'd hold you up to say to your mother, "this kid's gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid's gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew." And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilege.

"Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!

"Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!

"I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what appens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain't gonna have a life."

71 posted on 01/15/2009 7:32:55 PM PST by Christian4Bush (Role of the press: Republican scandal - prosecutors; Democrat scandal - Defense attorneys.)
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To: CounterCounterCulture

Expelled? - Conservative movies that are marketed as factual should be factual - expelled isn’t. Expelled was as factually correct as a michael moore movie.

72 posted on 01/15/2009 7:33:52 PM PST by DevNet (What's past is prologue)
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To: SeekAndFind

(1) Good acting with believable dialogue by nobody actors, (2) Good musical score, (3) Plot of maturity of a young woman, (4) A young man’s awakening that a person can make the supreme choice to do the right thing, (5) Subliminal class struggle, (6) while I didn’t agree about the abortion choice a young blue-collar woman chose, the struggle is there.

73 posted on 01/15/2009 7:34:11 PM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Incredibles is an incredibly good movie that hits on all cylinders when it comes to conservative values. Family, fidelity, children don’t know it all, bad guy that’s really bad, and so on. If you haven’t seen it, perhaps because it’s Disney or you think it’s for kids or you don’t like superheroes, I think you should give it a chance.

74 posted on 01/15/2009 7:34:34 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: SeekAndFind
NRO's Best Conservative Movies

The List

1. A Man for All Seasons
2. Chariots of Fire
3. Therese
4. King of Kings
5. The Ten Commandments
6. Johnny Belinda
7. Quo Vadis?
8. Carnal Knowledge
9. Ten
10. Tender Mercies
11. Three Godfathers
12. The Bicycle Thief
13. My Left Foot
14. Stand and Deliver
15. Lean on Me
16. Meet Me in St. Louis
17. Little Women
18. Since You Went Away
19. Penny Serenade
20. How Green Was My Valley
21. Fort Apache
22. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
23. Rio Grande
24. The Quiet Man
25. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
26. A Canterbury Tale
27. I Know Where I’m Going
28. Dumbo
29. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
30. You Can’t Take It with You
31. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
32. Meet John Doe
33. It’s a Wonderful Life
34. My Darling Clementine
35. Sergeant York
36. Yankee Doodle Dandy
37. Red Dawn
38. The Hanoi Hilton
39. Rambo: First Blood Part II
40. The Deer Hunter
41. Heartbreak Ridge
42. Wake Island
43. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
44. That Hamilton Woman
45. King’s Row
46. Knute Rockne All American
47. The Inner Circle
48. Ninotchka
49. Marie Antoinette
50. A Tale of Two Cities
51. Viva Villa
52. There Was a Crooked Man
53. The Next Voice You Hear
54. Going My Way
55. The Song of Bernadette
56. Lilies of the Field
57. High Noon
58. The Fountainhead
59. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
60. The Yearling
61. I Remember Mama
62. Father of the Bride
63. Father’s Little Dividend
64. Sounder
65. Baby Boom
66. Judge Priest
67. State Fair
68. Shane
69. Drums Along the Mohawk
70. Ruggles of Red Gap
71. To Kill a Priest
72. Man of Marble
73. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
74. Animal Farm
75. Eleni
76. Dr. Zhivago
77. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
78. Ghostbusters
79. Too Hot to Handle
80. White Nights
81. Forbidden Planet

75 posted on 01/15/2009 7:35:09 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: SeekAndFind


76 posted on 01/15/2009 7:36:05 PM PST by randomhero97 ("First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow!" - Ash)
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To: Valpal1
I just read a comment on YouTube by one of these Utopian minded liberals regarding a pop song:'s the proof that all people from every culture can live together in harmony protecting this world from destruction.. I hope the "rulers" of this world could see this song the way i see it,with all the messages for love that the song passes to us..

77 posted on 01/15/2009 7:36:57 PM PST by beaversmom
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To: SeekAndFind

The Incredibles is one of the finest films in years, featuring classic character development and story line reminiscent of 1940s Hollywood. I find I learn alot about a person simply from guaging their response to this film.

78 posted on 01/15/2009 7:38:26 PM PST by Cosmo (Liberalism is for girls)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Sound of Music.

79 posted on 01/15/2009 7:38:37 PM PST by Miss Didi ( "After all...tomorrow is another day." Scarlett O'Hara, Gone with the Wind)
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To: mamelukesabre
There was a stalone movie...can’t remember the name of it...where stalone plays a cop that gets frozen and then thawed out many years into the future to go after a bad guy. Anyway, in the future he meets these outcasts that live in the sewers because that’s the only place they can go to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, and use internal combustion engines, and own firearms...all illegal in the future.

At one point in the movie, stalone borrows a restored oldsmobile 442 from a sewer dweller to chase down a bad guy.

"Demolition Man"...and I wonder how many credits I'd be fined daily for "a violation of the verbal morality statute", whether "sotto voce" or not!

Or imagine this:

Jack Bauer: "DAMMIT!"


"Jack Bauer, you are fined one credit for violation of the verbal morality statute."

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! Jack shoots the machine.

80 posted on 01/15/2009 7:38:46 PM PST by Christian4Bush (Role of the press: Republican scandal - prosecutors; Democrat scandal - Defense attorneys.)
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