Friday September 18, 2015
Michael Medved is His Own Best Critic
Finally reading “Hollywood vs. America” (1992), in which right-wing film critic Michael Medved argues that Hollywood makes the wrong movies for all the wrong reasons, and it's all Hollywood's fault. (As opposed to America's fault.)
What kinds of movies should Hollywood make? Medved brings up a few fondly remembered ones from his youth:
- The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), starring Fess Parker as a fearless Union officer who leads a daring raid behind enemy lines to steal a key Confederate train.
- The Buccaneer (1958), with Andrew Jackson and pirate Jean Lafitte winning the Battle of New Orleans
- The Horse Soldiers (1959), starring John Wayne and William Holden as Union cavalry officers in the Civil War
- John Paul Jones (1959), with Robert Stack as the great naval hero of the American Revolution
- And, of course, John Wayne's two-hour-and-forty-minute epic, The Alamo
Then he adds this:
I still recall every one of these long-ago entertainments with enormous affection, though I would never go so far as to offer them my blanket critical endorsement. Its easy to spot the artistic and historical shortcomings in such projects, to decry their jingoistic simplicity and to lament the way that America's enemies are callously reduced to two-dimensional bad guys. From a contemporary and politically correct perspective, one might well argue that my endless exposure to such blood-and-guts sagas between the impressionable ages of seven and twelve permanently warped my tender young mind by implanting the dubious proposition that our country's problems could all be solved on the battlefield. Nevertheless, I miss the energetic, flag-waving films of my boyhood and regret that comparable projects have found no place in todays movie mix.
Turns out Medved is a good critic after all.
Michael Medved movie night? Warning: prolonged expsure may cause jingoism and two-dimensional worldviews. But it's all in good, clean fun.