Forum:Greatest Liberal Films

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This is something I've been thinking about for a while. What do you folks consider to be the greatest liberal movies of all time?Ryantherebel (talk) 21:15, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Is this using the actual definition of liberal or the version of liberal that only makes sense if you're a neo-conservative and "liberal" means "baby eater"? Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:19, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I can think of a few that fit the first definition: Stanley Kubirck's "Dr. Strangelove" and "All Quiet on the Western Front". Tetronian you're clueless 21:22, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
According to the definition that equates "liberal" with "communist," Battleship Potemkin would be in the running. For the more traditional definition, In the Heat of the Night was an award-winner. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:30, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
  • 12 Angry Men
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • Sunshine
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Lives of Others--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:05, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I love 12 Angry Men, but how is it liberal? Tetronian you're clueless 22:18, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Abandoning the easy and angry answer and seeking the truth. That's "liberal" to me. Of course, liberals don't have the same zombie lords giving them a marching line so each person's definition is going to vary.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:22, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
That is not "liberal" thinking. That is "keeping a cool head in a crisis," which is an apolitical practice adhered to by at least some people of all political persuasions. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:30, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Sunshine thumbs its nose at liberalism and drools all over communism, only managing to go after the Soviets. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:18, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
We can only make it three comments before Listener pops in with a Communism reference? Really? --User:Theautocrat/Sig 22:20, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
How is it a communist film at all?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:25, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I just realized there are two films entitled Sunshine. I was referring to the 1999 one starring Ralph Fiennes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I was talking about this one. I haven't seen the one to which you refer.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 00:23, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

How about It's A Wonderful Life, at least with the villainy of corrupt big businessman Mr. Potter versus honest, dependable George Bailey? It's certainly a decent parable for the recent banking crisis and the liberal idea that "too big to fail is too big to exist". MDB (talk) 22:34, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure we could fit Star Wars in here somewhere. Tora! Tora! Tora! is interesting, in that it dosen't buy much propaganda bullshit. --User:Theautocrat/Sig 23:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
How about Paths of Glory? I think it has a pretty "liberal" message. Tetronian you're clueless 00:15, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The Last Temptation of Christ, maybe? It certainly hosed off Christian conservatives when it was first released. (Though I've seen references to some of them gaining a new appreciation of it, in that its just what it says in the title -- its about Christ's temptation to renounce divinity and live as a mortal man, most specifically marrying Mary Magdalene.) MDB (talk) 00:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
John Grisham's The Rainmaker and Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai--Thanatos (talk) 00:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Almost any movie can be a "liberal" movie, because liberals don't really have an agreed-upon ideology. It's both a weakness and a strength.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 00:37, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

The problem with that, though, is that some of the movies we call "liberal" could also be called conservative. Tetronian you're clueless 14:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps that's because some themes are universal. For instance, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington says that political corruption is bad. Its clearly a political film, but takes no side in the liberal/conservative dichotomy, and who, from any side of the political spectrum is going to disagree and say "yay for political corruption!" Although to be fair, the movie was attacked as being an attack on American system itself when it was first released. MDB (talk) 14:44, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
(EC)There is an agreed upon definition and ideology, just for the most part, people who consider themselves "liberal" tend not to be Liberal with the capital L in the same way that people who define themselves as conservative tend to be Conservative. If you know what I mean. There is an ideology, but it's not the strict "YOU MUST BE X, Y AND Z!" that you see like likes of Beck, Schlafly and Farah go on about. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:46, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the main problem (with this list & the Conservative films one at CPedia) is not with the definitions of these ideologies but with the fact that most films aren't explicitly about politics: they contain observations about life, maybe escapism and fantasy, sometimes a moral message, but not necessarily a political one. While there are a minority of movies with an overt political slant (Grapes of Wrath, Bowling for Columbine, as random examples), there are many more which can be claimed by either side of the liberal/conservative continuum (Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars, Shawshank Redemption, etc.) WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:52, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The apolitical films can then be left off the lists. Which suits extremists very well, because they dislike any film or other work that is not heavily biased toward their particular point-of-view. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:04, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Messages of Liberal Movies[edit]

If we're going to discuss liberal movies, I think it would be worthwhile to list the messages that come from liberal movies. Here's a few I see off the top of my fuzzy little head, and some example movies.

  • War is a horrible thing.
    • Platoon
    • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Even when a war is just and necessary, its still horrible, but the men who fight the war should be honored.
    • Saving Private Ryan
    • Glory
  • Love is love, no matter who the lovers are.
    • Brokeback Mountain
    • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
    • ET
  • Big business is untrustworthy.
    • It's a Wonderful Life (admittedly, that's not its key message)
    • Silkwood
    • The China Syndrome

And on the lighter side...

  • Never get involved in a land war in Asia.
    • Oliver Stone's Alexander
    • The Princess Bride (well, Wallace Shawn's character (Vizzini?) says the line) MDB (talk) 15:38, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Uncategorised (for now)

  • The Man From Earth
Has anyone ever made a (fiction) movie promoting progressive taxation, gun control, gay rights (ah, now civil rights, I bet there's a few!), or such? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:17, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Wag the Dog for its anti-warness. But could be conservative for its 'Don't trust the guberment'-ness. Me is confused. CS Miller (talk) 20:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
    Of course, that was pre-1999, so ignore me. CS Miller (talk) 23:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Side note[edit]

Apparently Avatar is a "liberal" film. Tetronian you're clueless 12:47, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's the "greedy corporate-miltary machine vs nature" so it sort of is. At least it's very hippie in places. I don't get the racism though... Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:40, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Supposedly it stereotypes non-whites, especially Native Americans. Tetronian you're clueless 14:43, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
There was a lot of squishy neo-pagan/New Age beliefs in there, but that's not so much a liberal belief as a belief more commonly held by liberals than conservatives. MDB (talk) 16:20, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


Well, I'm not that current on movies in general, but here's a couple of thoughts:

  • Pinocchio - Conservative. Listen to your elders or you'll get your ass kicked, quite literally. And if your friends get turned into asses, it's okay to abandon them. The lesson, "I got mine".
  • The Little Mermaid - No question, Liberal. Don't listen to your :::elders, and then have to get bailed out by them in the end. No respect for tradition at all, and probably pro gun control.
But it has a pretty bad message. Give up your life your your man.
  • Anything Miyazaki - Environmentalism all over the place, anti-gun (Princess Mononoke especially), anti-military (Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind, etc.), anti-Christian (witch character in Kiki's Delivery Service not portrayed as Satanic), etc. Also, insists on making films in a language other than English.
  • Come to think of it, a lot of early Disney was pretty Conservative, in stereotypical terms, while a lot of the modern stuff (Eisner and later) was pretty liberal.
  • You could easily call Scooby-Doo (yeah, yeah, mostly TV but there were theatrical releases) a battle between hippies/Liberals (Shaggy/Scooby/Velma) and mods/straights/Conservatives (Daphne/Fred) to see who solved things first. The straights tended to be more effective in mystery-solving, but the hippies tended to be a lot more appealing and interesting to watch. Toss-up.
  • Old Warner Brothers...who the hell knows? They were pro-US during WW II, but most of the characters had an individualistic streak a mile wide. And since they (and the similiarly unclassifiable Tom and Jerry, Popeye, etc.) were originally released as theatrical shorts, they count for this category.

Anyone else got any additions? --Kels (talk) 14:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, if we're going to allow TV shows to be listed, The Simpsons is pretty liberal, with things like Sideshow Bob's immortal threat, "No child has ever crossed the Republican Party and lived, Bart", portraying George Bush the Elder as Mister Wilson to Bart's Dennis the Menace, and any meeting of the Springfield Republican Party, which includes Dracula as a member and once features Bob Dole reading from the Necronomicon. On the other paw, it regularly parodies liberals, too (like Bill Clinton propositioning Marge, then saying he's slept with 'real live pigs', and Lisa is often portrayed as the stereotypical young trendy liberal.) MDB (talk) 15:48, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Scooby Doo is the only TV show on my list, and The Simpsons had a movie. So there. --Kels (talk) 15:52, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
End of Evangelion - Promotes individuality over being absorbed into the machine--Thanatos (talk) 17:40, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't The Simpsons occasaionally swing both ways on the subject? I'm sure South Park does as it just takes the piss out of everything, but I'm sure The Simpsons does some very Conseravative things. It mocks the Church but still states it to be a positive a soulful source of morality, the entire thing is swept up in Family Values (even if it does shove some disfunction in there). Family Guy, however, definitely liberal - it smacks you on the face with it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, South Park inspired the term South Park Republican, which basically means "hates conservatives, but really fuckin' hates liberals." I think the Simpsons would be somewhat the opposite, in that they're harder on conservatives. MDB (talk) 13:58, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Most Pixar movies definitely fit the mold if you want to include independence from 'traditional views' [Ratatouille, Up, Cars], acceptance despite differences [Toy Story, Incredibles, Ratatouille again], bucking the System in the name of progress [Wall-E], personal responsibility improving the whole [Wall-E], being more than what you're 'born into' [Almost all of their movies], love surpasses boundaries [Wall-E], new ideas are welcome [All of their movies]...I think I could scrounge a few others. -- CodyH (talk) 00:29, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

South Park: BL&U is more liberal than conservative, and it is anti-authority. User:Mectrixctic 20:44, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Nile Gardiner's Top Ten Conservative Movies of the Last Decade[edit]

England's answer to Andy Schlafly and his favourite conservative movies from the Torygraph (snicker!). I think labelling movies as "liberal" or "conservative" in a general sense is pretty odd, albeit highly subjective. Saying a movie is liberal or conservative is painting far too a black and white picture. SJ Debaser 16:28, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

"A central theme that runs through several of my top ten picks is the eternal conflict between good and evil, and why the forces of tyranny and despotism must be confronted and defeated." Herein lies the problem. Sentiments like that can be claimed equally by conservatives and liberals. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:17, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
@SJ, yeah, I have been thinking that by the time a movie can be classed unequivocally as L. or C., it's probably too drenched in political sledgehammering to be watchable. And if the "politics" is subtle enough to make it watchable, it's subtle enough to ignore. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:16, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


Am I right in thinking that the only conservative themed porno flick was Nailin' Paylin.--BobBring back the hat! 21:31, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

It's the only one that got any publicity, at least. Tetronian you're clueless 21:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I watched that. It was beautiful. "Drill, baby, drill."--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:39, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
No smut is properly political, it being produced with intent to arouse rather than to convey a political message. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:42, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh that's not true, the political message is just more subliminal than in other genres. Tetronian you're clueless 21:44, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
But given that it's hated so much by the right and officially (most of) the religious it would seem to be implicitly left.--BobBring back the hat! 21:51, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
It most certainly is, because it spoofs a right-wing politician. It is "conservative-themed" but it has a liberal message. Tetronian you're clueless 21:53, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Smut has its critics on the left as well; between dictators and radical feminists, liberals are practically on their own defending it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I imagine that the only people who defend smut are those who use it and libertarians (who also probably belong to the first category). Tetronian you're clueless 21:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
There's an awful lot of room "between dictators and radical feminists". ħumanUser talk:Human 21:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Liberals also defend it, or at least its legality: Nadine Strossen and her group, Feminists for Free Expression, focus on that.
My use of the word "between" there was in the sense of "Between the wind and the rain, we got thoroughly drenched." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:11, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I didn't realise this was an actual thing. I thought it was one of those rumours, like people who have hands bigger than their faces. SJ Debaser 22:04, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

A bit of self-promotion: you can read my whole account of the video here. Not vulgar.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:12, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
No surprises there: the video is exactly what it sounds like, a slightly creative porn film. Interestingly, it is probably far more imaginative than most pornographic movies today. That says something about human nature, but I'm not sure what. Tetronian you're clueless 23:03, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
"Fuck art, let's fuck"? Totnesmartin (talk) 23:18, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Pretty much. I suspect the internet has a lot to do with the reason pornography is this way, too, what with instant gratification and all that. Tetronian you're clueless 23:21, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

i am a film snob[edit]

I take umbrage at the use of 'greatest' to describe many of these films. Conservative or Liberal, some of the films mentioned (and tv shows) mentioned are just complete wank. My subjective opinion on a subjective list.--AMassiveGay (talk) 12:46, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Star Wars? rly? Also, I take umbrage at the complete failure to mention I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang. Totnesmartin (talk) 13:00, 11 September 2010 (UTC)