In the Washington Post’s Entertainment Perspective section, their movie critic explains that while she knew all along that white male Christians were bad, it’s about time for Hollywood to finally make TV shows and movies in which white male Christians are the bad guys.
Why didn’t anybody ever think of that before?!?
By Ann Hornaday
Jan. 15, 2021
… Put more succinctly by John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism at the New York Police Department, in an appearance on MSNBC on Thursday: “It’s taken us aback to see people who look like ‘normal people’ cross that line.”
Miller’s blunt assessment raises the question of what, exactly, passes for “normal people” today. But we know what they’ve looked like for the past several centuries: White. Male. Christian. “Real Americans” — or at least what people mean when they use that term, usually in the course of insisting why someone else doesn’t qualify.
…“The invisible obvious” has had the same effect in Hollywood, which at least since the Cold War has looked for the perfect all-utility villain. With “no-good dirty Commies” decommissioned since the 1990s,
Down at the bottom of this post, I will try to count up how many Best Picture nominated movies over the last 93 years have had “no-good dirty Commies” as the villains.
screenwriters and studio executives tried their best to find convincing personifications of pure evil that would not perpetuate noxious stereotypes or hoary cliches. Having been sensitized to the poisonous symbolism of trotting out yet one more Arab terrorist or African American drug dealer or pimp, filmmakers cast about for figures everyone could loathe: arms dealers, sex traffickers, garden-variety corporate greedheads. …
It turns out that finding the perfect villain wasn’t that hard: they’ve been in our midst for decades, whether they were lurking on the far reaches of the conspiratorial web or watching Fox News at the local pub. They were winning Olympic medals, going to church, wearing fun Hawaiian shirts, servicing swimming pools, selling flowers, fighting fires, walking the beat, maybe even running for Congress.
They look just like “normal people” because they are normal people, at least within the context of America's long, unresolved history of racism, violence, vigilante individualism and religious zealotry. The fact that they've been ignored for so long — by law enforcement and Hollywood alike — shouldn't stop us from facing the simple and self-evident fact: Too many of our good guys have been the baddies all along.
Ann Hornaday is The Washington Post’s chief film critic. She is the author of “Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.” She joined The Post in 2002. Follow
How many movies and TV shows have had white male Christian villains?
I don’t see as many movies as Ann Hornaday does, but I suspect I have better pattern recognition skills.
She’s a pretty hilarious example of media cluelessness: I can tell that White Christian Men are the bad guys just by looking at them: for example, that Covington kid who smirked at the tribal elder … What? … Really? Well, that’s hardly relevant. The point is that I know they are villains by looking at them. But why doesn’t The Media ever point this fact out? Huh? Huh?
How many movies and TV shows have had “no-good dirty Commie” villains? Or, how many have been anti-Communist in theme?
Other than a handful of surprise hit 1980s films like Rambo and Red Dawn, the use of “no-good dirty Commies” in movies as villains was rare. For example, how many James Bond movies have had No-Good Dirty Commies as the main villains?
In this list of Best Picture Oscar winners:
Communists are the bad guys in one movie (The Deer Hunter). I don’t think the movie is particularly against Communism as an ideology, but definitely the Vietnamese Communist captors are very bad guys.
I’d call the Communists neutral in Platoon, in which good vs. evil are embodied in the two American sergeants
The Communist Chinese are the good guys at the end of The Last Emperor;
The Artist has a very brief clip at the beginning from a fictitious silent movie in which an anti-Communist freedom fighter from Free Georgia escapes the nefarious Bolsheviks.
A Soviet spy is a supporting hero in The Shape of Water.
Among Best Picture nominees that didn’t win the Oscar:
Ninotchka has some funny Billy Wilder lines satirizing the Soviet Union
The Soviet ambassador is no worse than the Americans in Dr. Strangelove.
In Dr. Zhivago the Bolsheviks are mostly bad guys but in the happy ending the Khrushchev Era Soviet Union is saluted as a near-utopia of magnificent modern hydroelectric dams.
In the comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, American small towns people unite with a Soviet subcrew to free their sub from a sandbar before the US Air Force can blow it up.
M*A*S*H barely mentions the Korean War in which it is set.
Nicholas and Alexandra has bad Bolsheviks.
Julia portrays Communists and fellow travelers like Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett as heroes.
Apocalypse Now, with its script by John Milius, is pro-Vietnam War, although Communism doesn’t seem to have too much to do with it.
Warren Beatty’s Reds is pro-Bolshevik.
Missing, about the Chilean coup of 1973, is pro-Marxist.
The Right Stuff is about US competition with the Soviets, but the Soviets are treated respectfully.
The Killing Fields is about the Communist genocide in Cambodia.
Kiss of the Spider Woman has a Marxist hero.
Coming Home, Born on the Fourth of July and Forrest Gump have references to the Vietnam War scenes, but none have much to do with Communism.
The Postman features Marxist poet Pablo Neruda as a supporting hero.
The McCarthy Era drama Good Night, and Good Luck is anti-anti-Communist.
In The Grand Hotel Budapest, 1960s Eastern Europe is portrayed as dreary in brief flash-forwards compared to the visually dazzling old days.
Soviet spy Rudolf Abel is portrayed positively in Bridge of Spies.
So, I come up with 5 anti-Communist Best Picture winners or nominees (Ninotchka, Dr. Zhivago, Nicholas and Alexandra, The Deer Hunter, and The Killing Fields) out of roughly 500 movies that have been nominated. Pro-Communist movies are comparable in number.
In general, Hollywood didn’t pay that much attention to the Cold War.