Skip to comments.Michelle Malkin - The lost patriots of Hollywood
Posted on 06/22/2004 10:32:50 PM PDT by kattracks
Once upon a time, there were people in Hollywood who loved America. And when America came under attack from enemies abroad, these actors, producers, screenwriters and directors put aside their partisan differences and created movies that -- unlike Michael Moore's new schlockumentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- made all moviegoers proud to be Americans.
During World War II, Tinseltown roused the country's fighting spirit instead of trying to stifle it. In February 1941, the entertainment industry convened an extraordinary Academy Awards ceremony. The president of the Motion Picture Association, independent movie mogul and World War I pilot and intelligence officer Walter Wanger, went out of his way to use the Academy Award ceremony to support the war effort. Wanger invited President Roosevelt to address the crowd.
In an unprecedented radio speech simulcast on all three major networks at the time, FDR praised Hollywood for its wartime fundraising efforts and thanked filmmakers for "sanctifying the American way of life."
Can you imagine Hollywood extending such an invitation to President Bush today? Can you imagine CBS, ABC and NBC agreeing to simulcast such an event? And can you imagine the howling from the ACLU, ethnic groups, Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn if President Bush were allowed to appear at the Academy Awards to speak in support of "sanctifying the American way of life"?
The best actor award in 1942 went to Gary Cooper, for his morale-boosting performance as the deeply religious backwoods Tennessee Cumberland Mountains farmer and World War I hero Sergeant Alvin C. York in Howard Hawks' patriotic movie, "Sergeant York."
Can you imagine anyone in the entertainment industry (besides Mel Gibson) making a movie about a deeply religious backwoods farmer-turned-soldier today that didn't denigrate the character's born-again Christian background and conservative values?
Hollywood celebrities of the past didn't just play soldiers in front of the cameras. They volunteered to put their lives on the line for America. Clark Gable joined the Army Air Corps at 41, became a B-17 air gunner, and earned the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. Jimmy Stewart led B-24 bombing raids over Germany. They both appeared in pro-America documentaries, produced by the military-operated First Motion Picture Unit, when not in combat. Director Frank Capra made films for the U.S. government, including the seven-part "Why We Fight (1942-44)." Big-band leader Glenn Miller led the U.S. Army Air Force band in Europe and died for his country when his plane went down in the English Channel.
Can you imagine George Clooney putting down the basketball and picking up an M-4? Or Chris Rock and Jon Stewart cracking codes instead of jokes? Or Brad Pitt wearing combat boots for real combat instead of a Vanity Fair photo shoot? Or Spike Lee directing films defending the War on Terror? Or Eminem marching in step with the Army Air Force band?
Those who stayed behind during World War II starred in countless films -- "Action in the North Atlantic," "Arise, My Love," "All Through the Night," "Bataan," "The Battle of Midway," "Captains of the Clouds," "Desperate Journey," "Destination Tokyo," "Escape," "Flying Tigers," "Foreign Correspondent," "The Great Dictator," "Gung Ho!" "The Mortal Storm," "One of Our Aircraft Is Missing," "So Proudly We Hail!" "Wake Island," and "Yankee Doodle Dandy," to name just a few -- which rallied Americans through the long, dark days of the war to support the Allied cause. The movies depicted good and evil in stark terms. And there was no politically correct revisionism about who our enemies were.
By contrast, even tough-guy Arnold Schwarzenegger failed to stand up to Hollywood mushies who were afraid to depict Arab terrorists in his post-Sept. 11 movie, "Collateral Damage." Instead of encouraging Americans to confront the true face and nature of the Islamist threat, Schwarzenegger and his producers turned the Arab terrorists into Colombian terrorists so no one would complain about "racial profiling." Similarly, Steven Spielberg's new movie about an asylum-seeker, "The Terminal," indulges in weak-willed liberal escapism by demonizing Department of Homeland Security officials just trying to do their jobs.
Box-office patriotism is dead. And so I ask: If Hollywood refuses to support America, why should we support Hollywood?
Michelle Malkin is a syndicated columnist and maintains her weblog at michellemalkin.com
©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Contact Michelle Malkin | Read Malkin's biography
Why indeed should we support those who hate America with passion? Hollywood has done nothing to show they support America in her hour of need.
What pains me is the fact that most of the sheeple suck their crap up.
I mean, look at two of the biggest hits so far this year, The Passion of the Christ and Shrek 2; the former movie made devout Christians come out to see the movie in droves and the latter movie was in many ways a brilliant satire and parody of the entire Hollywood culture's self-indulgent attitude.
With the exception of the occasional movie, I find myself enjoying TV shows on DVD. Hollywood's fare hasn't been all that impressive to get me to snap up movies on a regular basis.
I can agree with the Islamicists about one thing: our popular culture, foisted on the world by Hollywood, really stinks.
Hollywood won't clean up the Leftist filth in movies until it hits them in the pocketbook.
Last movie I saw in the theater in the past 2-3 years was Passion of the Christ. They don't produce much that I want to see and if I have a slight interest, I rent them on DVD.
Simply put, they are not getting much money from me to put out their crap.
"Clark Gable joined the Army Air Corps at 41, became a B-17 air gunner, and earned the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross."
Clark Cable BUMP! And he lost the love of his life, Carole Lombard, who died in a plane crash on a War Bonds tour.
Of all the new celebs she names the only two who might not be guilty as charged are Jon Steward and Chris Rock. I actually can picture them cracking enemy code, or wanting to anyway.
Soon enough, maybe, these jerks will realize Bush is not the enemy. President Bush for all his faults and failings, and even inasmuch as he may disappoint some of us on the right, doesn't actually want to cut anybody's head off.
Correction to Michelle Malkin, the bad guys in collateral damage were neo-nazis so as not to incite hatred against islamic terrorists.
Good posting (you're on a roll). If you look at the movies which make money (The Passion, Saving Private Ryan, & Schindler's List, for example) and the ones which lose money (The Last Temptation of Christ & Revolution come to mind), you'll see the public wants a different kind of entertainment than most Hollywood types want to provide.
What keeps so much leftist dreck coming out of Hollywood is that if a movie loses money, the distributors don't have to endure the financial losses. They are allowed to turn the loss into a tax write-off. As a result, movies that alienate and offend the audiences are indirectly subsidized by the American taxpayer. So refusing to pay to see unpatriotic, politically-correct, or anti-Christian movies does nothing to penalize those distribute them.
If more people were aware of this, maybe it could be changed. But I'm not optimistic.
You're thinking of "The Sum of All Fears". The studio changed Tom Clancy's bad guys from Arabs to neo-Nazis. "Collateral Damage" changed Arabs to Columbians.
You are right...both your post and your tagline...
For those wishing to 'check up' on Hollywood and other celebs, I find this page to be absolutely priceless...
It lists ALL the political donations these people have made since the late 1970s.
It's definitely depressing, but when you're feeling like no celebs are on our side, look at the sports listings (middle right-hand side of the page). Those guys are patriots!
Of course they did, Michelle. They had to save communist Russia.
I didn't see Collateral Damage (which was the movie that was postponed after 9-11), are you sure you aren't thinking of the movie based on the Tom Clancey novel?
Ah but look around the world and you won't necessarily find "better" culture. At least in America, nudity is still kept off the broadcast networks as is profanity, and there is no government news network. There are no commercial broadcasts of racial superiority/inferiority programming (only on public access will you find that bunk).
Scatological porn, bestiality porn, and child porn are all kept out of the marketplace (although some places in "enlightened" Europe tolerate them).
Our "news" broadcasts may highlight death and disaster but they are largely blood free (no grue is seen in the multiple car accidents televised every night). In Mexico there are entire magazines devoted to death photos.
The "mondo film" craze came up to speed in the 1960s (starting with the Italian film Mondo Cane). While mondo films still got distribution on video in American through the 1990s, they got theatrically released in other countries (where they were produced). Faces of Death type mondo films often took news footage of murders, suicides, accidents, executions, etc. for their compilations.
America does have a lot of trashy culture that is pumped out to the rest of the world. Then again the rest of the world is consuming much of it and offering their own trash (often more explicit/distasteful).
There are many times where more "enlightened" countries call America "prudish" or "puritanical".
Islamist culture is oppressive and ugly in its own regards.