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eric

I'd agree on Heston and add Planet of the Apes, I can watch the first two movies over and over.

I'd also add anything directed by Polanski, especially Chinatown, yeah I know he raped a teenage girl and that is heinous, but the movies are just too damn good.

Tom W.

Jimmy Stewart - stalwart Nixonian, brilliant actor.

Shakespeare's Sister

I was disappointed to find out that Gary Sinise is a Republican, but it hasn't diminished my enjoyment of his work. I've liked him ever since I saw him in A Midnight Clear (and almost immediately after that in Of Mice and Men), and I've always had a deep fondness for him for founding my favorite Chicago theater, The Steppenwolf.

And I still dig Bruce Willis onscreen, despite both his politics and his being an absolute cretin when I ruined a scene he was filming for Mercury Rising. (It's not my fault he had to shoot outside the front doors of my office building when I had somewhere to go!)

Chuck

Tom W. beat me to Jimmy Stewart. Specifically I love his Hitchcock movies (Vertigo and Rear Window). And I'm willing to admit some fondness for the old Bruce Willis movies, especially the first Die Hard.

And according to Newsmeat, Robert Duvall has given money to McCain, so I'll add him to the list. Of course he's amazing in Apocalypse Now, but I found The Apostle to be pretty impressive, too.

Chuck

BTW, if you haven't spent a few minutes skimming Newsmeat (link in previous comment), it's worth checking out, not just to see which political parties celebrities support but also, if you dig around, which candidates.

ellen

Every time Barbra Streisand or Jane Fonda release a movie, conservative talk radio devotes entire week to why true conservatives must boycott the film because they will just be putting money into the liberals' pockets if they buy a ticket. Whether or not to go see "Meet the Fockers" was a huge moral dilemma for Glen Beck, et al.

harry near indy

john wayne in stagecoach or the searchers or she wore a yellow ribbon. all directed by john ford, btw.

jimmie stewart in about anything.

lance, you missed henry fonda. iirc, he and stewart were good friends who kept their friendship until fonda's death because they didn't talk about politics. fonda was a big new dealer, and stewart liked to keep his money, which i believe is more respectable than wayne's loud-mouth nationalism.

ellen, who posted at 12:49 PM, mentioned barbra streisand and "meet the fockers." i can't stomach streisand personally and didn't see "meet the fockers" because she's not that believable as a sex therapist. now if it had been bette midler ...

and what about midler? iirc, she hasn't spoken publically about her political preferences or made it known what organizations to which she has given money. but she's never denied that gay men were among her first fans, are are still a big part of her audience.

support for gays -- that might be considered "political."

coturnix

I like 'em all. I never think of their politics or their personal lives while I am watching a movie. Either they are good actors or they are not.

Bruce Willis can be funny. I like every darn Eastwood film. Even Reagan was funny in some movies. John Wayne is a legend I grew up with.

I can't stand and never could - years before I knew anything about their politics or about US politics at all - Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks or Mel Gibson.

coturnix

And I always loved Barbra, both as an actress and a singer.

Exiled in New Jersey

You can't pigeonhole art, which great film is. Can you believe John Ford made Grapes of Wrath? During the worst years of his life, Polanski made the definitive Macbeth, Chinatown and Tess.

Lance lists "Years" for Mel G, but see him in Gallipoli, one of those ultimate films about war. Or listen to Wayne, Stewart and Bacall in The Shootist, directed by Don Siegel, the man who put Dirty Harry on the map. And before jumping on Stewart, remember he fought for his country unlike many of the blowhards in our capital.

I may not like Willis, Cruise and even Redford, but not for politics. Rather my dislike is because they rarely stretch themselves in their choice of roles.

pfc

There are a few early Tom Cruise movies that I'll still watch if there's nothing else on. But his politics/religion just completely freak me out these days and I can't watch anything he makes anymore.

julia

Definitely The Women. Despise Clare Booth Luce, despise her politics, hate her view of women, my viewings of it with my daughter turn into Teaching Moments every single time, but it's a really fun movie.

I also usually point out when we're watching Philadelphia Story or High Society, during Seth Lord's little speech about how Tracy's failure to be a Good Daughter was responsible for his adultery, that Tracy came by being a solipsistic self-righteous jerk honest. We still watch them, though.

Shayvartzgeleh

John Malkovich. Even though I don't know anything about his politics.

It's his aspect.

I find the man reptilian. Have done in everything I've seen him in.

But I still dive into "Dangerous Liaisons" two or three times a year. That's probably more about the screenplay than the acting.

"Shall we go up? That is, unless you prefer this - if memory serves - rather purgatorial sofa."

Who could miss with dialog like that?

Chris the Cop

Finally, a game someone is not a flaming liberal (and not really all that conservative, either) can enjoy via this blog.

1) George Clooney in Out of Sight and Goodnight & Good Luck. I like George and in my experience, if a movie he's in stinks, it's not because of his politics. (Irreconcilable Differences comes to mind.
2)"What movie whose politics or social attitudes you find retrograde..." An old favorite - The Parallax View with Warren Beatty

burritoboy

"What actor or actress whose personality or politics you dislike do you stil enjoy watching whatever they do?"

Essentially the question doesn't make that much sense since the character that the actress is playing wasn't written by her, and the movie is not being directed by the actor. The character and mise-en-scene are usually the product of the director, screenwriter(s), set designers, cinematographer, lighting director, etc.

Second, I just don't find most actors or actresses' political views well-formed enough to be objectionable. Most of their opinions are so childish (even Reagan) that I can't really take those opinions very seriously. I don't argue politics with children, and the vast majority of actors have political views that are more foolish and silly than many high-school age teens. The few who do not hold very immature views mostly agree with me, so I've never had much difficulty.

"What movie whose politics or social attitudes you find retrograde or otherwise objectionable did you enjoy anyway?"

I suppose I find a lot of police dramas occasionally enjoyable, even though I don't really agree with their incredibly simplistic views on justice, or their depiction of the world as divided between victims and bestial criminals, or the entire current construct of policing in modern societies. But I admit I enjoy it far more when policiers address precisely those issues - say, in Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground, Melville's Un Flic, Mann's The Naked Spur, Kazan's Boomerang!, Fritz Lang's M, Fritz Lang's Fury, Petri's Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and so on.

Lance

Chris,

I beg your pardon. There are no flaming liberals around here. We're all partisan hysterics consumed by ideological correctness.

The Parallex View scared me to pieces when I saw it. But it seems so much a part of its time now that I'd have thought watching it would be like watching a Busby Berkeley movie. But it holds up?

burritoboy, a reader was looking for my take on A Face in the Crowd. I figured your take would be better.

sfmike

Rosalind Russell. I was so saddened to find out she was a fairly frightful person, and a serious Republican to boot, because she has probably saved more moments in more old movies than just about any other actress in American history.

I've always been repulsed by John Wayne, but I saw him once on German television in an early 30's western (it was a Three Bandits and a Baby tale), and his German voice was so sexy (and so was Marion/John at that age), that I had to reconsider his entire career.

Mel Gibson has been a really interesting contemporary movie star, even without the latest outrageous wrinkles. His performances in "Year of Living Dangerously" and "The Road Warrior" pretty much put him in an iconic pantheon, and that's not to mention all the other interesting crap he's made.

James Stewart is perfection in "The Shop Around The Corner" but otherwise I hate him in just about every movie he ever made, especially since he was cast in so many good movies, which he diminished (see his casting in Hitchcock's "Rope" as an example). He's false in ways that remind me of Joan Crawford, in a less showy, drag-queen way.

burritoboys' comment: "I just don't find most actors or actresses' political views well-formed enough to be objectionable" is probably the wisest in this thread, but the original question is interesting.

Td Raicer

>James Stewart is perfection in "The Shop Around The Corner" but otherwise I hate him in just about every movie he ever made, especially since he was cast in so many good movies, which he diminished (see his casting in Hitchcock's "Rope" as an example). He's false in ways that remind me of Joan Crawford, in a less showy, drag-queen way

Proving there is no opinion so ridiculous that someone doesn't hold it. (Oh wait-Bush already proved that repeatedly.) Stewart came back from WWII (where he was a genuine war hero) with life experiences that added dark shadings to a body of work that was already impressive before the war.

To the Heston list I'd add The Naked Jungle, The War Lord, 55 Days At Peking and Khartoum. The latter two examples of "colonial adventures"-along with others like Zulu and Gunga Din- that fall into The Gone With the Wind category of films I love despite the worldview they represent. Or would fall into that category except I don't actually like Gone With the Wind.

I can no longer stomach Gibson though.

Charlie

a bunch of Robert Duvall movies (Godfathers, Apocalypse Now, Great Santini), almost any Irene Dunne movie

Andrew

I would say early (pre-1950) Bob Hope, who doesn't get enough credit for his comedic acting -- and had he wanted to, he could have easily become a creditable dramatic actor. Hope's politics were 180 degrees removed from mine, and I didn't think much of his offscreen womanizing.

David Letterman once said that Hope should've done what Johnny Carson did -- publicly retire at age 65 or so and just fade away. Hope's late-career movies (BOY, DID I GET A WRONG NUMBER, CANCEL MY RESERVATION) and 1980s TV specials are pretty unwatchable.

Mont D. Law

The Quiet Man

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045061/

Let's see:

You have the sexism, all the stupid women myths - that they can't admit what they really want, that they should be ignored in their expression of what they want and indeed be physically overwhelmed and forced to accept what they really need, which is a strong man to protect and threaten them AT THE SAME TIME.

And then there are the sterotypes, which include everybody - men and women, Catholic and Protestant, Irish, English and Americian, the drunk and the sober, the pious and the vain - all of it irony free.

I am espeically offended by the bickering = love trope in almost all other movies for example You've Got Mail, but apparently not here.

I have no idea why I like this movie so much, but it is one of my favorites.

Mont D. Law

DuWayne

Wow, I know nothing of Bruce Willis' politics but I loved many movies he was in. Quicksilver, Four rooms and The Fifth Element come to mind. I have to admit I am a huge John Wayne fan. And I adore Jimmy Stewart. Have to admit I also enjoyed Reagan's westerns and I am quite certain that many of the old western's I love are packed with actors who's politics I would abhor.

Winnie

I do still like Die Hard movies, a number of works by Gibson, and plenty of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns long before the days of Madison county. I also admit to liking a lot of Tom Cruise movies despite the fact that I could never *stand* Tom Cruise. I don't agree with the politics of Zhang Ymou's "Hero" at all; in fact I consider it an apology for totalitarianism but I adore it as a cinematic achievement. "The Boondocks Saints" is highly disturbing with not a little misogyny about it but it's still a goddamn classic.

velvet goldmine

Damn and blast. I guess all I can do is weakly second that emotion, Lance. Before I got to the end of this post I was thinking of "The Year of Living Dangerously" and "Philadelphia Story" in exactly the same contexts... but now all I can say is -- Uh, yeah, me too. (It's Thanksgiving dinner all over again.)

Anyway, I've often thought that if Philadelphia Story were made today, its legacy would be compromised. Everyone would get bogged down in that first scene in which CKDH pushes Tracy down and out of the frame, as I remember it. The whole movie would have been lost to the domestic abuse debate, I'm just sure of it.

I've often wondered if Hepburn herself, as a person, brought out the tame-that-shrew in directors and writers, or if she just became the go-to girl for films with that mentality. (Side quiz: Is there an actress who's modern equivalent?).

A third possibility is that the endings were just a sop to the masses and the movie studios, and in fact the meat of the movies were actually meant to celebrate the emerging modern woman.

At any rate, her entire career seems built on movies in which she's constantly brought down a peg or two. But she had the last laugh. Most of us think of that chin-jutted independence of hers, rather than her trying to bake a cake for Spencer at the end of the movie.

Now, "The Year of Living Dangerously" is one of the best movies made, ever. Given that Mel was considered a right-wing nut job long before The Incident, it's the perfect litmus test to see if a liberal...no, a non-bigot...can still manage to forget all that while watching that perfect movie.

And don't forget Woody Allen films. Politics, shmolitics -- that's the real acid test.

velvet goldmine

Some comments on the comments: James Stewart movies are great examples for this topic, because for me it's impossible for his politics ruin the great body of work he achieved.

However, those insipid poems about his dead dog that used to read on The Tonight Show put me off his movies for a couple of years. I'm dead serious.

SS and Charlie: I feel you on Gary Sinise and Robert Duvall. I guess it's a mark of my own prejudices that I'm still shocked to find that people who are nuanced and funny, both as artists and as people, can turn out to be Republicans. Still, it shocks me every time.

On the other hand, you'd think I'd be predisposed to think kindly of Streisand and Jane Fonda movies based on the time and money they've devoted to candidates and causes I believe it. Instead, I find them smug and wooden in virtually every movie they've ever made, at least past the age of 35 or so. (Why did they both lose talent and humor as they aged? That's unusual. I hope.)

DuWayne

I've often wondered if Hepburn herself, as a person, brought out the tame-that-shrew in directors and writers, or if she just became the go-to girl for films with that mentality.

My geuss would be the latter. At least I would really like it to be - and I've heard that was the case. I hope so because I have been in love with her since I was twelve.

Mudge

I despise Cruise's way of expressing his Scientology (Travolta is far more subtle) but I enjoy Rainman, perhaps because Cruise is such a dislikeable character and, in my opinion, Dustin Hoffman is so good.

I await hearing from anyone who enjoys the Green Berets, but I'll inject my favorite John Wayne movie: Red River. Howard Hawks, not John Ford.

Can't stand Joan Crawford. It's a coat hanger thing.

Charlie

if you want to talk about the politics of a specific film (as opposed to the actors involved), I'd have to say "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is the best example for me

larkspur

"...A third possibility is that the endings were just a sop to the masses and the movie studios, and in fact the meat of the movies were actually meant to celebrate the emerging modern woman..."

I think this is a real factor. So many of those films run true up until their endings, when there's this weird thing tacked on, and it's like, contemporarily, everyone to whom it mattered knew that the ending was a giant wink, leaving them free to imagine the true ending.

And...I used to like Mel Gibson a lot. I can still totally enjoy "The Year..." and "Gallipolli". Who wants to work with me on a script about how we pluck Mel out of the space-time continuum and do an "It's A Wonderful Life" intervention on him...except, um, wait. We might bring about a world in which we didn't ever exist. But on the other hand, we might find ourselves in a world at peace, in which every last one of us unhinged-ers is wealthy and helpful and uninterested in making movies.

jillbryant

I do think there is some danger to an artist who becomes too closely identified with ANYTHING if they are thinking of representing different/changing ideas - that would include being identified with previous parts, scandals, etc. That leads to - I would agree with the Roman Polanski assessment - for Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby.

As far as the retrograde-ness - I usually just accept it in movies from another era. Rules were in place like a woman (and sometimes a man) couldn't commit adultery and live, or, (and here I can think of an example - Gilda), you might think she was "bad" but, if she really was the heroine, she wasn't. (Gilda was just pretending to sleep with all those other men which has to be made clear to Glenn Ford - someone I always thought was very lucky to get her at all.)

The umbrage taken over the casting of Jolie as Daniel Pearl's wife before they've seen any footage at all, I really don't get - (seems to be because she appeared in a sexy outfit in another movie.) And some commenters there seem upset because they don't find her attractive (as if she is being cast as Scarlett O'Hara and they don't feel she's pretty enough for the part...)

velvet goldmine

Jill -- As I recall, Jennifer Aniston was set to play Marion Pearl and then -- you guessed it -- Jolie swiped it from her.

The situation, I'm sure, is much more complicated and buerocratic than that. And even if it really did come down to those two actors, it was pure coincidence that they were up for the same role.

All that being said, it does seem a bit rough for Team Aniston. This is a much bigger loss that Brad, it seems to me. (By the way, I think Aniston is the better actor, which is not an opinion shared by many.)

SV

"I guess it's a mark of my own prejudices that I'm still shocked to find that people who are nuanced and funny, both as artists and as people, can turn out to be Republicans. Still, it shocks me every time."

Velvet Goldmine, you said perfectly what I was getting ready to type. I mean, Gary Sinise? Damn.

One name I haven't seen mentioned is Ron Silver - there's a guy who makes my skin crawl, but when I see him in an acting role, he owns the entire screen.

burritoboy

Lance,

I don't really understand what you're asking about A Face in the Crowd.

Flatiron Dante

I've heard that Vince Vaughn is a right winger, but I still enjoy watching him in Swingers and Dodgeball. And Vincent Gallo was hilarious in Buffalo '66, though I doubt we'd have much to agree on politically. So I guess that Republicans named Vince are ok to watch for their acting, so long as they're acting and I don't have to hear them go on about how wonderful W is.

Kevin Wolf

Gee, Lance. Too many rules in this game!

I'm willing to set aside politics if the picture in question is entertaining. I like Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis even as I disagree with many of their political positions. (Bruce just needs to make a decent damn movie.)

And if I just plain don't like you as an actor or artist, politics is beside the point again. (I'm looking at you, Tom Cruise.)

There's nothing to stop a dyed in the wool progressive like me from enjoying, say, Dirty Harry. For me it's movie fantasy, not a political blueprint.

hamletta

Everyone would get bogged down in that first scene in which CKDH pushes Tracy down and out of the frame, as I remember it. The whole movie would have been lost to the domestic abuse debate, I'm just sure of it.

Michael Caine said Cary Grant was the only man who could ever get away with that move, that if it were done by anyone else, it would just look like an unspeakably brutal act against a woman.

I don't get as bugged by the class commentary as some other people do, I guess because the way it works out, class has little to do with character. But Daddy Lord's using Tracey's hauteur as a justification for his infidelity is a bit much.

Women of the Year doesn't bug me, either. I find the gender role reversal rather amusing, what with Spencer Tracy wanting to be listened to and all. And the breakfast scene is technically brilliant. Choreographing a disaster like that is no mean feat.

But in the end, Tracy winds up telling her she'll just be miserable if she tries to remake herself as Suzy Homemaker, and that's not who he married, anyway. I guess I just have faith that they'll figure out how to make it work, no matter what anybody else thinks.

Kate Marie

I'm late to the party here and have little to add to the discussion. As for watching/rejecting movies despite/because of their political sensibilities, I tend not to do it. I'll add the caveat that if a film's political sensibilites significantly overpower its artistry, I generally won't be interested in watching it again. I can't think of a single actor whose participation in a film would make me unwilling to watch it -- ooops, except maybe Gary Busey and Billy Zane, but then how likely is it nowadays that either of them is going to make a movie that has the remotest chance of being good?

I was struck by this comment from Velvet Goldmine, though:

"I guess it's a mark of my own prejudices that I'm still shocked to find that people who are nuanced and funny, both as artists and as people, can turn out to be Republicans. Still, it shocks me every time."

I don't want to make a big deal of it, and at least you admit it's a mark of your own prejudices, Velvet Goldmine, but does it occur to you that if you extended that attitude backward in time, you'd probably find that many, if not most, of history's great artists held opinions which you would consider politically and morally repugnant? Hell, even many artists of the twentieth century might give you pause, politically speaking . . . don't you think?

rs

One thing I always factor in when I'm watching some right-winger posturing in a movie(or hear their music,mostly by accident e.g. Ted Nugent)is whether they actually walked the walk. John Wayne,who failed to show up for WWII ,played a war hero and glorified battle in countless films.That being said,I've loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence since I was a kid.

burritoboy

"you extended that attitude backward in time, you'd probably find that many, if not most, of history's great artists held opinions which you would consider politically and morally repugnant? Hell, even many artists of the twentieth century might give you pause, politically speaking . . . don't you think?"

The problem for you is that, consistently, you misdefine conservatism - modern Republicans aren't conservatives, but a radicalized form of Manchester liberalism, a philosophy that has proven artistically barren. The great conservative and reactionary artists of the past would have abominated modern American "conservatism".

Kate Marie

Burritoboy,

The problem for you seems to be that you pay more attention to my politics (or whatever you think my politics are) than to what I actually wrote.

I wasn't attempting to define "conservatism," "liberalism," Republican, or Democrat -- merely to make the point that it's not really surprising when a great artist holds views that we would consider morally or politically repugnant.

You're welcome to your opinion about how artistically barren modern Republicanism is. For myself, I disagree with your premise, since I don't think philosophies and "movements" create great works of art. Great artists do.

Campaspe

Good lord, considering the eras I cover, where do I start? How about Ginger Rogers? so adorable in the Astaire movies and Stage Door and Star of Midnight and Bachelor Mother and others I could watch again and again, and "one of the worst, red-baiting, terrifying reactionaries in Hollywood"--a quote from Joseph Losey, but heartily seconded by just about everyone who knew her, including ex-husband Lew Ayres. She was the kind of conservative who even scares most conservatives.

John

Even though it appears in the 'Liberal' list, I'll pop The Princess Bride in here for the insipid, one-dimensional, pathetic Buttercup: 'Oh, my Wesley won't come to save me, I'll have to kill myself with this knife'. I want to slap her every time. The patriarchalism stinks the whole place up, yet I watch it again and again for those immortal lines from Fessig, Inigo, Vizzini & co.

Gaijin Biker

Answering as a conservative, I'll go with Clooney in Three Kings. Great movie — and I should get bonus points because it's actually quite political.

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