Today’s Hollywood doubles as a Democratic SuperPAC.
TV shows promote anti-police themes, savage I.C.E. officials and push pro-gun control narratives. Every third post-apocalyptic thriller involves global warming ravaging the planet.
Late night TV peddles baldly progressive propaganda while looking the other way when Democrats behave badly.
Who is this Governor Cuomo of which you speak?
And yet some storytellers continue to slip conservative themes into the content. Some right-leaning elements are so subtle they’re easy to miss. Others are hiding in plain sight but play out in an organic fashion.
These films reflect at least one of those two approaches. They’re all well worth your time, and they might even change a heart or mind along the way.
‘A Quiet Place’
Director/co-star John Krasinski’s 2018 smash may be the most pro-family story ever committed to celluloid. It’s still a horror film of the first order, a wildly entertaining tale of a family sticking together during the very worst of times.
Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt stars as parents trying to keep their family safe after aliens conquer the earth. The beasties track their prey via sound, so the surviving humans stay alive by being as quiet as possible.
Here’s a line from the movie repeated about 200 times – “shhhh!”
Mama and Papa forge a new lifestyle that emits precious little sound. Yet when Blunt’s character becomes pregnant the family discards any attempt at a home-brewed abortion.
They know a bouncing baby will wail for the first four months of his or her life, maybe more, but they embrace the pregnancy anyway.
That pro-life message is so loud it would summon a thousand “Quiet Place” critters.
The parents sacrifice everything to keep their surviving children safe while preparing for their new arrival. At a time when liberals yawn over BLM’s anti-family rhetoric, “A Quiet Place” remains a testament to the nuclear family.
Now, if the pandemic would only fade so we can see if the oft-delayed sequel doubles down on that theme or goes woke.
‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ (2016)
The popular franchise hardly looks conservative on paper. Stars like Ice Cube and Common consistently share progressive arguments on social media and elsewhere. The films themselves, though, brims with faith-friendly messaging and rugged individualism.
That proved true once more with “The Next Cut.”
Ice Cube stars as Calvin, the owner of a struggling barber shop who is sick of waiting for a government handout to keep his business afloat. Key franchise players are in committed marriages and two-parent families are treated with reverence.
Best of all, given the tenor of modern times? The barber shop staffers let the banter flow freely without attempting to silence anyone.
The film even includes a crack about how little President Barack Obama helped black Americans.
Who saw that coming?
‘Dead Man Walking’
This 1995 fact-based drama features three of Hollywood’s most outspoken liberals – director Tim Robbins, star Susan Sarandon and co-star Sean Penn. The story follows a death row inmate, played by Penn, who draws the attention of a Sister Helen Prejean (Sarandon). She tries to save him from death by lethal injection.
Robbins clearly meant for “Walking” to rally audiences against the death penalty, but the beautifully crafted film suggests another interpretation. Penn’s character finds faith, and spiritual redemption, only when faced with his own mortality. He can’t even admit to the crime he’s accused of committing and feels no remorse in the first act.
His growing bond with Sister Prejean makes him reconsider both his innocent plea and the scope of his crimes.
The death penalty coaxes Penn’s character to consider Sister Prejean’s beliefs. He eventually confesses and hopes his death will offer the family of the couple he attacked a measure of comfort.
The script, penned by Robbins from the non-fiction book of the same name by Sister Prejean, allows for different interpretations. That’s a credit to Robbins, a storyteller who later leaned harder into his progressive beliefs in “Cradle Will Rock” and the anti-Trump play, “The New Colossus.”
‘Crocodile Dundee’ (1986)
The woke Left hates this comedy smash, in part, because the title character treats a trans woman in a crude fashion. That didn’t stop the Aussie import from making Paul Hogan a star, at least for a spell.
The comedy did something else, though, that riled up some progressives. Linda Kozlowski’s character, a journalist writing about Hogan’s Mick Dundee, is engaged to her boss as the story opens. Said boss is smart, cultured and far more enlightened than Mick.
Yet Kozlowski’s Sue dumps him for the leathered Aussie. Why? He’s self-effacing and strong, a man’s man who can protect her from any danger in the Outback or the Big Apple. Her boss probably can’t change his own tire.
Sue isn’t a victim, nor is she helpless. She still finds Mick’s masculine traits more appealing and worthy of her heart.
‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)/’The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the verge of going woke, according to head honcho Kevin Feige. Yet a few years ago a pair of DC Comics movies embraced a stealth conservativism that flew under Warner Bros.’ radar completely.
Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” gave the late Heath Ledger his signature role, the anarchy spewing Joker. One critical scene, featuring the great Michael Caine as Alfred the butler, illustrates why brute force is sadly the only way to maintain peace in some scenarios.
Alfred shared the story of how the Burmese government failed to squelch violence through bribery. Local leaders attempted to pay off tribes with rare stones, a plan that backfired in spectacular fashion.
“Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
“The Dark Knight Rises” struck a more overtly conservative tone, but it did so in a way that couldn’t offend mainstream audiences.
The narrative captured the Occupy Wall Street movement without punishing audiences with lectures or finger wagging. The villainous Bane (Tom Hardy) commandeered a group of anarchists eager to punish the rich and swipe their fortunes.
The Atlantic rushed to the film’s side, arguing the film’s conservative bona fides weren’t as real as many said at the time.
That speaks to Nolan’s deft touch and ability to place entertainment over propaganda.
Who you gonna call? Not the Environmental Protection Agency, that’s for sure.
Ivan Reitman’s sci-fi comedy classic is known for many things, from Ray Parker, Jr.’s infectious song to arguably Bill Murray’s most Murray-esque performance. It’s also a stinging rebuke to stifling authority figures.
The budding ghostbusters run afoul of not just Slimer but EPA bureaucrats eager to shut down their fledgling business.
Dan Aykroyd’s character utters a classic line after losing his college gig, one that would never be uttered today.
“I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college. You don’t know what it’s like out there. I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”
‘No Strings Attached’ (2011)/’Friends with Benefits’ (2011)
Modern Hollywood mostly abandoned rom-coms, at least at the theatrical level. Blame Kate Hudson, who starred in her fair share of romantic clunkers. Or, consider how Hollywood scribes ignored the genre’s fundamentals (Boy Meets Girl…) for wackier plots that left audiences confused.
These 2011 films revealed Hollywood’s attempt to leave traditional courtship behind. Both focus on couples who wanted sex sans commitment. In each case, true love blossomed and the characters ended up committing to their sexual partners.
Most rom-coms are inherently conservative by default. We cheer on the main characters as they meet, flirt and fall in love. The goal is monogamy, if not a walk down the aisle.
Perhaps that’s why Tinsel Town mostly abandoned the genre in recent years.
This little-seen gem stars James Cromwell as a husband eager to help his ailing wife (Geneviève Bujold) enjoying her final years in peace. She’s suffering from dementia and needs a home that’s easier for her to move around in without hurting herself.
Cromwell’s character wants to custom build a home just for her, and he has the skills to make it possible. Only he’s thwarted by local bureaucrats who object to every part of his plan.
The 2012 film is a haunting portrait of a devoted husband, but it doubles as a cautionary tale against government overreach. Cromwell’s character can make a home that’s sturdier than most in his county, but mountains of red tape won’t let that happen. Yes, smaller governments matter.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.