-- Try "National Security" staring Martin Lawrence
and Steve Zahn. While we may have been here before in terms of the
action and story line (the reason for the four stars), I saw this
movie in theaters and howled with laughter almost throughout the
entire film. Including when I saw it again on DVD. Martin Lawrence
plays LAPD reject and troublemaker Earl who gets L.A. cop Hank (played
by Steve Zahn) kicked off the force for police brutality. These
two guys end up working as security guards for the same company
(named National Security) and then team up to halt a smuggling ring.
If they can stay one step ahead of the real police and not kill
each other at the same time. There is a because-I'm-black/victim
mentality associated with Lawrence's character but I think it adds
to the humor of Lawrence's character and Zahn is well cast as Lawrence's
sidekick. Or is Lawrence Zahn's sidekick? Anyway, overall I enjoyed
this movie and I hope you all do too. Its good slapstick fun packed
-- Run (don't walk) to see the movie "I, Robot". This
is an excellent, action-packed film that is VERY LIBERTARIAN in
its overall theme. The movie takes place in the 23rd(?) century
and mankind has evolved to where robots are commonplace and exist
to serve human beings. Will Smith plays a Chicago Cop. He investigates
the suicide of a scientist who devloped the robots seen in the movie.
The robots serve humans and co-founded the company that makes them,
with a robot and the President of the company as the prime suspects.
As a result, the suicide is the first step in a sequence of "bread
crumbs" that the professor leaves for Smith's character that leads
to a plot to take over the world. I wont go into details and will
leave it to you all to see this movie to find out what I am talking
about. Overall, "I, Robot" is a GREAT flick and (IMHO) the libertarian
movie of the year! I definitely will add this to my DVD collection.
-- Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com has recently reviewed
a documentary done by the Media Education Foundation called 'Hijacking
Catastrophe'. The documentary details the rise of the neo-cons in
Bush's administration as well as the lies and propaganda they did
justifying the war in Iraq as well as current U.S. foreign policy.
You can read Raimondo's review here.
-- A currently playing film of possible interest
is "Goodbye, Lenin!" It's about a young East German man whose communist
mother falls into a coma just before the demise of the Berlin Wall.
When she comes out of the coma eight months later, the doctor warns
that the slightest shock could kill her. So for the rest of the
film, her son has to hide from her all the change that has taken
place--claiming that there are still food shortages, government-run
media, etc. It has some nostalgia for socialist trappings, but is
likely to be of interest anyway. You can see the hilarious online
film trailer for this film here.
-- "Dirty Pretty Things," a thriller, may not dramatize
libertarian solutions to the ongoing human organ shortage here and
abroad, but at least it focuses attention on this otherwise little-discussed
topic. You can see the trailer to this film here.
-- A couple of readers have recommended the film "The
Alamo," interpreting it as essentially a story about secession from
bad government. You can see the trailer here.
-- "I discovered another movie that you might want to recommend
to your readers. It is 1999's 'It
Came From The Sky,' starring John Ritter and JoBeth Williams,
as a feuding couple with a disturbed or mute son. Their lives are
disrupted when a small plane lands on the roof of their house. Yasmine
Bleeth and the ever-eccentric Christopher Lloyd had been en route
to Las Vegas in the plane, when the crash occurred. They are able
to bring some much-needed magic and romance to the household, and
also give the couple's son some new joy and hope. Despite a slow
start (and the seemingly-continuous consumption of alcohol!), the
film really shines when it shows how we can appreciate the miracles
of everyday life. But we still never learn Chris Lloyd's character's
true identity, or whether the son has some kind of magic powers.
So that adds to the mystery." --B.B.
-- "I would like to recommend 'The
Education of Little Tree,' which I saw recently on USA network.
A young Native American boy loses his father, and then goes to live
with an elderly man (played by James Cromwell) and his Cherokee
wife. With help from another native man, Little Tree learns the
secrets of the earth. But when he is sent away to the white man's
school, trouble ensues. What follows next is a great libertarian
adventure, in the spirit of 'Rabbit-Proof Fence.' I'd give it five
-- "I want to highly recommend a new movie now in theaters:
the Mexican satire Herod's
Law (in Spanish with English subtitles). I have never seen a
better filmed illustration of Acton's dictum about power and corruption.
The basic plot is that a ruling-party (PRI) flunkie, chosen because
he's loyal and stupid, is appointed mayor of a rural Mexican village
in 1949. He becomes corrupt, drunk with power, and a complete tyrant.
He calls poor villagers who can't pay his extortionate taxes "enemies
of social progress". His actions are so outrageous by the end of
the film that it borders on farce, but each step he takes toward
tyrrany is plausible. For a libertarian, at least, there's a lot
of black humor." --L.W.
-- "Have you heard of the movie Interstate
60? It's kinda wacky, and not that good, but at least some parts
seem like they were written by a libertarian on drugs: a cameo by
Kurt Russell on how legalized drugs allow people to decide whether
to become slaves or independent people, and that's their choice;
a guy who demands that a bum live up to the "contract" he's offered
in his "will work for food" sign; and a side trip to a town called
Morlaw (get it?), in which all the residents are lawyers and they
spend their time suing each other and all the visitors who make
the mistake of entering town." --D.B.
-- "A new documentary, entitled "Third Party: Political Alternatives
in the Age of Duopoly," highlights the uphill battle that third
parties face in the U.S. It's mostly told from the perspective of
Green Party activists, but also includes interviews with members
of other parties including the Libertarian Party. You can learn
more about this documentary and see an online trailer here."
-- "I would definitely recommend the Everwood
series on WB. The season opener featured a strong pro-creative achievement
theme, and last year they had an episode giving favorable treatment
to medical marijuana. So if you're seeking quality family entertainment
this fall, better program the VCR." --B.B.
-- "If you've not seen Hombre,
I cannot recommend it highly enough! It is the most damning indictment
of the morality of altruism that I have ever seen, with nothing
else even close. It stars Paul Newman, Richard Boone, and Fredrick
March, all of whom do a wonderful job." --L.F.
-- "In case you've missed it, a 2002 movie called Evelyn
should be included on any future list of libertarian films. It stars
Pierce Brosnan and it's the story of the Irish father of three whose
wife abandoned him; authorities took away the children to an orphanage
and he sued the government to get them back. It necessitated changing
the law of Ireland to do so. Heroic!!" --A.R.
-- "I just got finished watching The
Animatrix and it's very good! What this video/DVD is, is a combination
of CG-animation and Japanese anime. It also has libertarian-oriented
messages through almost all of its stories. The Animatrix is a series
of 9 different films. One story (Final Flight of the Osiris) is
the prequel to Matrix Reloaded, and the others tell the stories
of the last cities of mankind, the war with the machines and mankind's
ultimate downfall. I thought The Animatrix was great!" --M.R.
-- "Libertarians might like Tomorrow
the World, a 1944 Fredric March film about an American family
that takes in a young German cousin during the war. As it turns
out, the cousin is an arch Nazi, a product of Hitlerian training,
but he gets turned from the dark side by his exposure to basic American
-- "I am a very satisfied subscriber to Miss Liberty's Film
and TV update and I recently purchased your new book, which I am
also enjoying very much! Great job! In reading your book, I did
notice three notable omissions that you might want to consider for
future editions: Soylent
Green (1973) starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson
(his last film) a futuristic science fiction film dealing with overpopulation,
food shortages, and riot control/food production. When I saw this
film as a youngster it both disturbed me and helped to develop my
strong feelings toward liberty. Coming
Out of the Ice (1983) starring John Savage. The true story of
American Victor Herman who went to Russia with his family in the
early 20th century to establish a plant for Ford. He was first hailed
as the "Lindbergh of Russia" for his flying and skydiving feats,
only to be imprisoned and then exiled in Siberia by Stalin. Truly
an incredible story of perserverence and love of freedom! Burnt
by the Sun (1994) Russian film with subtitles set in post-World
War II about an NKVD agent sent by Stalin's government to kill the
war-hero general who is married to the agent's first love in his
home town. Outstanding portrayal of life in Stalinist Russia from
a Russian point of view." --T.H.
-- "Just finished viewing Two
Family House and was struck by its libertarian content, most
notably the two main characters. The hero in this film is a 50s
era Italian-American working man who has grand visions of what he
can accomplish, but has put his life on hold to serve out a doomed
marriage to a wife who continually belittles him and sabotages his
plans. With the help of a misunderstood, gutsy Irish abandoned mother,
he eventually throws off the shackles of his marriage and goes on
to realizes his full potential. It's not only a great "creator-as-hero"
theme, but a sweet love story as well. I highly recommend it."
-- "I really do encourage you to watch Can-Can--it's
one of the most explicitly libertarian movies ever made." --W.E.
Fighter is a touching libertarian film about a US soldier who
helps some East Germans escape from behind the Berlin Wall."
-- "Take a look at Eleni.
It's a great anti-commie film." --D.F.
-- "As a subscriber to the missliberty weekly guide, I thought
I'd send you a note about a movie I just watched on Turner Classic
Movie Channel, which I believe should be a movie that qualifies
for your list of movies with a freedom subject. The movie was called
the Wind. Made back in 1960, this movie is a true story about
a teacher who's put on trial for teaching the theory of evolution
by Chales Darwin. (Scopes Monkey Trials). I highly recommend it."
-- "Here's the description for Control
Factor. 'Lance Bishop was an ordinary, energetic, happily married
salesman for a large insurance conglomerate...until one day at the
office turned his life upside-down. After nearly being killed by
a mysterious disheveled man who burst into his office, Lance begins
to hear a powerful voice in his head that encourages him to kill
his wife. Questioning his own sanity, Lance discovers the voices
are part of a widespread government mind control project.'"
-- "I have another submission for your Miss Liberty movie
list. It is called Profoundly
Normal. Kirstie Alley stars as a retarded girl / lady who marries
a black man (also retarded) and documents their struggles with institutions
and popular prejudice (both kinds). Then it also follows the trials
of their son. It is based on a true story, so it is especially poignant.
The kind of film that Dr. Thomas Szasz would applaud! Kudos to CBS
for their courage and presentation." --B.B.
-- "Last night I watched the movie Lorenzo's
Oil, about the parents of a boy with ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy).
They create their own formulation of a nutritional treatment, while
battling the entrenched medical establishment. This would be a great
film for libertarians and anyone else interested in alternative
medicine. Another movie, which is very similar, is First,
Do No Harm starring Meryl Streep. I would definitely recommend
both films. Plot Summary for New
Eden (1994) (TV) Prisoners are dumped on a sand planet dubbed
Earth 21-523 where most are immediately killed by the sand people
and the remainder struggle for existence. That is until a new prisoner
arrives with ideas of providing irrigation of the desert. But he
still must first fight the nomadic sand people." --B.B.
-- "I enjoy your emails. I suggest adding the movie Defending
Your Life. It is appearing on TMC this week. It has a theme
of the importance of living one's life for one's own purposes...very
much anti-altruism, even though it co-stars Meryl Streep."
-- "Here's one you didn't include in your excellent film guide:
Eden, an Ayn Rand -like story 'set in post-apocalyptic wasteland
where a peaceful engineer and his family try to rebuild civilization
while under constant attack by barbarians.' Stars Stephen Baldwin."
-- "My husband and I just finished watching Two
Family House. It was a wonderful (and true!) story about an
American-Italian man home from WWII who returns to his neighborhood
on Staten Island and marries, and above all wants his own home,
his own business, and wants to sing (having missed an opportunity
to appear on the Arthur Godfrey show). He wants the "American dream"
-- and how he goes about getting it and who builds him up and who
sets out to kill his spirit -- and this is the stuff that movies
are made of -- an engrossing character study of a very fine man
and the people and women around him. I don't want to give too much
away -- this movie unfolds, and many prosaic holes are punched in
the local fabric of "society" -- conform or not to conform? follow
a dream or not to follow a dream? love who you're supposed to love
or not? Some very, very libertarian messages are worked into this
film without preaching or hitting anyone on the head -- my husband
and I both agreed on this. While there is a lot of profanity and
racist and ethnic profanities dropped, it is definitly not out of
context - in fact, they're used to emphasize the anti-libertarian
messages. Be that as it may, the movie was released or made in 2000.
It was written and directed by Raymond De Felitta based on the story
told him by the hero's adopted son and present owner of the real
"Buddy's Tavern" - De Felitta is "Buddy's" nephew. This is a very
non-cliched movie - warmhearted, and thoughtful. Movie running time:
107 mins. Please, please see this movie - I guarantee you you won't
be disappointed." --C.B.
-- "Any possibility of including Gladiator
in your list of links to movies on the front page of your website?"
-- "Recommended: Once
Upon a Time in China II, 1993 Available on dvd (subtitled or
dubbed). Set in 1895 in the city of Canton. Acupuncturist and martial
arts master Wong Fei-hung (Jet Li) meets western-trained Dr. Sun
Yat-Sen at a medical conference, and Wong lends his spectacular
kung-fu fighting skill to Sun's pro-modern democratic republican
movement. The bad guys are a Luddite / xenophobic pagan cult, the
White Lotus Society (slogan: "Kill all the foreigners, then we will
have peace"), and a scheming local government official. Along the
way, Wong defends the property rights of the British consulate.
(Critics have understandably viewed the film as an ideological defense
of Hong Kong capitalism in the face of the impending handover to
mainland China.) Fight choreography by Yuen Wo-Ping, later famous
for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Reputedly the best of the trilogy
(I haven't seen the others yet) that made Jet Li a star. Tip: The
English dubbed version is available via the "special features" menu,
not the "languages" menu. The
Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, 1960s A series (some 20 titles) of
90-minute subtitled films running Saturday afternoons on the cable
channel IFC. Set in late medieval Japan. The itinerant masseur and
gambler Zatoichi humbly defends honest businessmen and women against
corrupt government officials and mobsters (who are always in league).
His violent swordplay is usually defensive, but sometimes retributive.
(He's kind of a samurai Daredevil and Lone Ranger.) The cinematography
is brilliant." --L.W.
-- "Enders Game is being made into a movie. Here's the update."
X --- this is the true story of a detective in the Soviet Union.
It is really a crime story, but because it is a true story, it also
includes real life examples of serious problems with the Soviet
system. Not just the problems we are familiar with, either. I did
not think my opinion of the Soviet Union could possibly get any
lower, but this movie actually did lower my opinion of the Soviet
system. Before watching this movie I had actually been under the
impression that one of the tiny benefits of a completely totalitarian
police state was that with all their powers, the police could actually
catch criminals with reasonable efficiency. Think again. And watch
Citizen X." --R.G.
-- "Here's a review, from today's lewrockwell.com website,
of the 1960's film The
President's Analyst. The reviewer makes a good case for its
being a great libertarian film. I saw it years ago, and remenber
that it was very funny, but hadn't picked up on the political subtext.
Here's the review."
-- "I just wanted to say "thank you" for your excellent movie
guide, Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video: Movies for the Libertarian
Millennium. I was just curious as to why Life
is Beautiful was not included. Certainly the movie addresses
themes of a libertarian or at least Randian nature (i.e. the unconquerable
soul of man, the affirmation of life, turning horror into beauty,
etc.). Was this an oversight, or were there reasons for the exclusion?
Anyway, you have a great website and a truly helpful and interesting
book. " --J.O.
-- "This press release explains the importance of the new
by Association: PRESS RELEASE: Academy Award-Winning Actress
Mercedes Ruehl Stars in Original Movie Focusing on Issue of Mandatory
Minimum Sentencing Laws PASADENA, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Jan.
16, 2002-- Court TV will premiere its first original movie Guilt
by Association, a compelling and powerful film that sheds light
on the controversial issue of mandatory minimum sentencing on Wednesday,
March 13th at 9:00 PM ET/PT. The film stars Academy, Tony and Golden
Globe Award-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl. While mandatory minimum
sentences were designed to combat the drug epidemic and keep drug
lords and dealers off the streets, instead - critics say - these
laws tend to punish the people who are at the lowest levels of involvement.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of women hit with
stiff mandatory minimum sentences as a result of the 1986 drug laws,
specifically a large number of women drawn into the drug business
by their boyfriends or husbands. In Guilt by Association, Ruehl
portrays Susan, a woman caught in the web of mandatory minimum sentencing
laws. Through her character, the film depicts the severity of these
laws, and their impact upon those sentenced, as well as their families.
After realizing her boyfriend Russell (Alex Carter) is involved
in selling drugs, Susan ends the relationship only to be pulled
down a legal path where she has no control. Although Susan has no
knowledge of Russell's illegal dealings, she, nonetheless, is convicted
and sent to prison. Having to leave her children in the care of
her sister Angie (Alberta Watson), the movie delves into Susan's
life behind bars and her desperate fight for freedom in order to
help her children overcome the troubling effects of her absence.
Mercedes Ruehl gained attention through her role as a jealous Mafia
wife in Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob and as Tom Hanks' frantic
mother in Big. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Aunt
Bella in Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers, a
role she later reprised in Martha Coolidge's 1993 film version.
Ruehl earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, a Golden Globe and
a Los Angeles Film Critics Society award for her role as Jeff Bridges'
girlfriend in Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King. Ruehl will star opposite
Bill Pullman in the Edward Albee Broadway production The Goat, or
Who is Sylvia, scheduled to open this March. Guilt by Association
is produced by Hearst Entertainment and JB Media for Court TV. Anne
Carlucci and Jean Bureau were the Executive Producers. The film
was directed by Graeme Campbell and written by Alan Hines, the acclaimed
writer of Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story and The
Familiar Stranger. Mary Silverman, Lynne Kirby and Rosalie Muskatt
are the executives in charge of movie development for Court TV."
-- "Karl Hess fans may be interested in this old documentary--Anarchism
in America. This movie stars Karl Hess and is directed by Steven
Fischler and Joel Sucher. It was made in 1982." --H.H.
-- "Did you see the Court TV documentary 'Prisoners of Love?'
It's about women getting arrested because their boyfriends are selling
drugs. Another War on Drugs injustice." --B.E.
is a Telefilm dramatization of the infamous WWII Wannsee meeting
at which the German High Command engineered the extermination of
the Jews. On Jan. 20, 1942, 15 men gathered in a villa on the outskirts
of Berlin and, 90 minutes later, the blueprint for Hitler's Final
Solution was in place. Adolf Eichmann prepared 30 top-secret copies
of the meeting's minutes but, by the fall of the Third Reich, all
had disappeared or been destroyed -- except one. The Wannsee Protocol,
found in the files of the Reich's foreign office, served as the
basis for this film. Director: Frank Pierson. Stars: Kenneth Branagh,
Stanley Tucci, David Threlfall, Colin Firth. 2001." --V.M.
is a great documentary about Soviet death camps during WWII. It
won best documentary at the Berlin Documentary Film Festival & the
Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival. Here's a link."
-- "I just got your informative and entertaining movie guide
from the Advocates, and while I love it overall, I was stunned that
you didn't include Braveheart
--- by far the most libertarian movie ever to receive the Academy
Award for Best Picture, and a personal favorite of most libertarians
I know. What happened? BTW, why was One
Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest left out of the Guide? Was it "too
popular" to be libertarian? Was it because McMurphy "voluntarily"
stayed at the hospital, despite trying to liberate others and go
against Ratched's coercion? Among films in the psychiatric category,
I would recommend One
Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The
Couch Trip (Dan Aykroyd, Walter Matthau). I would not recommend
"Girl, Interrupted", however. Recommended documentaries in this
category (psychiatric coercion) include: Unsafe Haven (CBS 60 Minutes
II, 04/21/99 and 06/16/99) Gay Teens (ABC News 20/20, 08/29/97 segment
#1, T970829-02) Union (ABC News 20/20, 01/28/00 segment #1, T000128-01)
Elderly Forced (ABC News 20/20, 01/26/96 segment #1, T960126-01)
The Merrow Report (PBS): Attention Deficit Disorder: A Dubious Diagnosis?
Another recommended documentary, critical of the 12-step disease
model of alcoholism, is "Drinking: Are You In Control?" (ABC News
20/20, 06/07/00, T0000607-01)." --D.N.
-- "Another great anti-war film: The
Thin Red Line, an overlooked but great antiwar film. Grand
Illusion, Jean Renoir's antiwar masterpiece. Paths
of Glory, another great antiwar film." --L.K.
-- "Great libertarian movie Satan
Never Sleeps. Leo McCarey's last movie. Stars William Holden
and Clifton Webb. They are priests in 1949 as the brutal communists
take over China. One communist sees the light when his mother and
father are brutally gunned down by commie troops. I would rate it
5 stars for libertarian content. 3 to 3 and a half for entertainment.
The dialog is quite witty. Leo McCarey was a Catholic anticommunist."
-- "Take a look at Cash
Crop. James Van Der Beek and his friends come to the rescue
in this spirited coming-of-age adventure set in Oxford, a struggling
little town, smack dab in the middle of nowhere. Nothing ever seems
to happen, that is, until the farmers begin growing marijuana to
pay their mounting debts. All seems to be going well until the DEA
arrives. Suddenly everyone is running for cover and the pressure
is on to hide the illegal drop. The tensions rise as the DEA infiltrates
Oxford and turns a volatile situation into a more explosive web
of intrigue" --T.E.
-- "You might wish to check out An
American Rhapsody, a story that gives a fairly accurate account
of communist Hungary in the 1950s and why it was wise to leave it."
-- "Did I tell you we watched Boom
Town a couple of weeks ago? You might add it to your list. It's
on Bidinotto's list but not in your book. Old-fashioned, with an
intro that talks about "strong men who built the industry that runs
this country." Also a nice speech making the same point at the end
in a trial. In between, the oil wildcatters are a pretty brawling
bunch, wrecking their companies over a woman, etc. That's what you
have to do to create the drama, I guess." --D.B.
-- "Yes, the Milgram Experiments are quite well known in the
psychology field. What they demonstrate is universal: most people
"just follow orders". The anti-authoritarian type is a minority.
There are at least two films on this, one a documentary made by
Milgram himself (which gets shown at freshman psych classes a lot),
the other a tv movie called The
Tenth Level starring William Shatner." --A.M.
-- "I would like to see what your opinion is of one of my
favorite movies. It's called Rough
Riders and it stars Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott and Gary Busey.
It was directed and cowritten by John Milius. It's very patriotic
and I believe it has many libertarian elements." --B.W.
-- "See I'll
Remember April (1999), about Japanese internment camps in the
Mononoke, a full length japanese animation that is new on video.
It is sort of objectivist-lite. Making the point that industry and
humanity are linked ineradicably via the human mind. At first it
seems kind of a gory, Green politics movie. The struggle between
The Forest and Humans appears to be the focus of the movie (good
trees, bad evil humans), but it is very sneakily pro-industrial.
At its heart is the young, daring, handsome, but tragically cursed,
Prince Ashitaka who is on a mission "to see clearly without hate."
He is, by nature, pro-forest and against Irontown (an industrial
village in an agrarian world). He falls in love with a wolf girl,
but he is impelled to honestly(objectively!) explore irontown. He
goes looking for evil, but fails to find any at its heart. Instead
he finds a variety of human virtues. Though there is a proto-bureaucrat.....
Finally, after a climactic struggle, wherein everything is destroyed.
The huddled and miserable human survivors are quietly determined
to rebuild Irontown. Physically destroying Irontown means nothing!
It will be rebuilt, better than before. Irontown is shown to be
a construct of the human mind, indestructible, as long as there
are some survivors. Not a mere physical thing subject to final destruction.
At the end Prince Ashitaka, though he has given his love to the
Forest, goes back to rebuild Irontown. The movie is subtle, beyond
Hollywood, and beyond the previous work of the Japanese creator
as well: TOTORO and KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE-pro capitalist, BTW.
There are at least seven factions with different interests: 1. Ashitaka's
people 2. Emperor- immorally represented by an unscrupulous monk.
3. Forest god 4. The Samurai, bloodthirsty blood-suckers 5. Irontown
6. Apes 7. Minor gods- Wolf and Boar. For you personally, there
is Lady Eboshi, Irontown's Iron Lady who will remind you of you-know-who.
Artistically, philosophically, historically, there are many elements
I liked. I noticed the Christ-Tiuw( the fella we named Tuesday after)-Thatchter
parallels, the Japan risen from the ashes of WWII, anti state religion,
misuse of government power, an oily, slippery Randian type of villian,
undermining Green ideology and a bow to my hero Oliver Cromwell.
My main quibble is a separation of envy and hatred, but at least
this functions to undermine the Greens further. Enough big names
for a Hollywood movie, Billy Ray Thornton, Minnie Driver, Billy
Crudup, Gillian Andersen, Claire Danes, but with an anti-Green theme
that would seemingly doom it. The guy in our local paper liked it
though, and the cover of the video says, "One of Roger Ebert's Ten
Best Movies." However, I am not sure what, exactly, that means."
Glimpse of Hell (2001) is a good film about government corruption
and the tendency of government to coverup its mistakes. Specifically,
this is about the indicent in which the Navy blamed a 1989 explosion
aboard the USS Iowa on a supposed affair between two sailors, when
the explosion actually occurred because of poor management and was
only later exposed." --T.E.
of Panama is a must see libertarian movie." --A.R.
-- "The film If...
was the '69 Cannes Palm 'd Ore (sp?) with a young Malcolm McDowell
in his first staring role; it is directed by Lindsey Anderson (who
directed ther very odd sequal you may be more familiar with called
"O'Lucky Man") the film is called "If..." and is about the struggle
of students against conformity and modern social mores; it's hard
to find and only 90 minutes, but well worth your time I believe."
-- "One show that is a MUST SEE for Libertarians is Indictment:
The McMartin Trial. It aired this past week on one of the HBO
channels. Terrific movie! " --R.R.
is a great movie with a Libertarian spirit. It's about recruits
training for Vietnam and focuses one private who refuses to let
his country take his life. Don't miss it." --L.R.
the British TV series on which the film 'Traffic' was based, is
now available on home video." --D.A.
-- "I saw the movie "Collateral Damage" at the United Nations
Association Film Festival at Stanford on Friday night. Abut 100
people were in the audience, and they applauded at the end. It is
a low-keyed, but highly effective portrait of NATO's damage to people,
buildings, and commerce in Serbia and surrounding SE Europe. It
is slightly hurt by the recent change in rulers in Serbia, but since
it's obviously a low-budget film, no one in the audience minded
that it wasn't miraculously up-to-date on very recent developments.
The filmmakers are affiliated with the Cato Institute. " --O.M.
-- "Here is another video oddity I just discovered. This is
the video description (from Amazon.com) for the upcoming Lidsville
Vol. 1: "Let's Hear It for Whizzo"--Hoo Doo evicts the Good Hats
for not paying their taxes. Mark and Weenie return to find the Good
Hats gone and their homes occupied by the Bad Hats. "Is There a
Mayor in the House?"--The Hat People decide to elect a mayor to
lead them in their fight against Hoo Doo. Everyone enters the race.
"Lidsville" is one of the old Sid and Marty Krofft children's programs
popular during the early and mid 70s." --F.H.
-- " I thought you might like to know about another Anime
movie I discovered which seems to have a libertarian twinge to it.
Its called Rail of the Star and it takes place in Korea before, during and after the Korean war. It is the
story of a Japanese family in Korea that experiences the war first
hand and then ends up embarking on a journey to escape North Korea
for South Korea. Apparently, the movie is based on a true story.
Just thought you might like to know. Also, I got the first tape
of Martian Successor Nadesico
Episode 1 "Invasion!" and its pretty good! Check it out, (along
with Akira and Ghost in the Shell) I think you will be presently
surprised. All of the films I have mentioned seem to have a libertarian
theme to them." --M.R.
-- "Thought I would mention a few older films that were quite
libertarian but don't seem to get mentioned at all in discussions
of libertarian films. Take them for what it's worth. 1. Hombre,
with Paul Newman. Except for the Hollywood cop-out ending (possibly
the same as in the book) one would almost think an Objectivist wrote
the screen play. It was based on, I think, an Elmore Leonard western
novel. 2. A
Gunfight, with Johnny Cash and Kirk Douglas. Financed by an
Indian tribe. Possibly the best pro-gun rights movie ever made.
It's not explicitly about gun rights, it's a western, but defends
the moral rights of people who use guns in a morally acceptable
way that others disapprove of. 3. The
Last Chase, with Lee Majors. A future society bans the automobile
and an ex race car driver sets out on a final run to link up with
pro-capitalist guerillas in California. 4. My
Bodyguard. A school kid needs protection against bullies, so
he hires a bodyguard." --G.G.
-- "I have a suggestion for a movie you might want to add:
Your Life, starring Albert Brooks and (unfortunately) Meryl
Streep. It's about a man who dies, and has to defend his life to
St. Peter before he can get into heaven. But St. Peter wants him
to defend himself over times when he was bullied, intimidated, and
didn't have the will to stand up for what he believed. I see it
as very Randian in its outlook on life (or death in this case)."
-- "Check out Sunshine.
Three generations of Hungarian Jews deal with empire, fascism, and
communism. A sweeping epic that has gotten no buzz at all, as if
the media no longer cared about multigenerational epics like Zhivago.
It's pretty hostile to fascism and communism, not that that should
be all that difficult." --D.B.
-- "I found a couple of Anime videos which sound VERY libertarian
in their descriptions that you might want to check out. First is
Suit Gundham Wing. It takes place in the future on earth where
citizens are ruled by a one world totalitarian government. A group
of individuals decides to start a rebellion by building some battlesuits
on their own to fight the government's armies. Second is Martian
Successor Nadesico. An alien invasion of earth takes place which
wipes out the earth's defenses. All that is left is a single battlecruiser
built by a private corporation to repel the invaders. Its a three
part series." --M.R.
-- "Why didn't you mention Longitude?
I am not writing to criticize, but this seems like a great libertarian/anti-establishment
story. I just saw a review of it on CBS Sunday Morning." --J.C.
The Ropes, 1999 --- a documentary somewhat like Hoop Dreams
that follows the lives of three aspiring boxers of Bed Stuy, Brooklyn
(one of the fighters is a woman). The film won the Special Jury
Award at the 1999 Sundance. It is a window on poor folks full
of authentic, heart wrenching stuff. What stands as the great
bane of two of the fighters is fascism/socialism. The film shows
the socialist "school" that one of the fighters, a hispanic, is
consigned to --- metal detectors, chaos, etc. He hates school
and drops out. After his stint in boxing he is shown thriving
in an inner-city private remedial school and earning his GED.
The most powerful character is the black woman boxer. She lives
in a house with her two daughters and her uncle, who is a crackhead.
She is entirely straight but looks after her uncle. Her uncle
gets busted by an undercover cop in the house for selling crack,
and she gets dragged down with him (she ran the house and was
aware of the uncle's doing, though took no part). Because of the
trial she misses her Golden Gloves debut. She is found guilty
of possession and does 2.5 years in prison. The trial is a disgusting
fascist display. Modern liberals and leftists take note: the
enemy of the poor, more than of any one else, is American style
fascism/socialism. They suffer the most from what the "right-wingers"
complain about. The film is a must' " --D.K.
-- "Here are the films suggested for libertarians in a Libertarian
International movie poll: Spartacus, The Fountainhead, We the Living
(Noi Vivi), The Counterfeit Spy, The 300 Spartans, The Omega Man,
Fahrenheit 451, Quo Vadis, Ivanhoe (Robert Taylor), The Trial, The
Carpetbaggers, City Life, The Crowd, Akira, Schindler's List, The
Sand Pebbles, Julius Caesar (Brando), Cheyenne Autumn, Zardoz. "
-- "A documentary you should see: The
Jaundiced Eye. It tells the story of a gay man and his Dad who
were falsely accused of molesting the gay man's son. As it turns
out, the son was coerced to testify against his father. 'Homophobia,
child-abuse panic and an incompetent justice system are the combustible
elements in 'The Jaundiced Eye.''" --W.O.
-- " I saw a really great film, The
Jack Bull, with significant libertarian themes (right-of-way,
property rights, restitution) on HBO last night. Since I didn't
see it listed in your newsletter I thought I would pass you this
mini-review. A Wyoming horse trader taking his horses to auction
finds a local land magnate has erected a toll gate. If he refuses
the toll and takes another route, he will not get to the auction
on time. The toll is exorbitant and, finally, they agree that he
would pay half now and half on his way back -- and he would leave
a pair of matched stallions as collateral. When he returns, the
stallions have been worked on the plow nearly to death, but the
magnate insists that they are in the same condition as before. The
local sheriff, judge, and lawyer all have shares in the magnate's
enterprise and will not pursue the case. This forces the horse trader
to issue his own writ of justice upon the magnate and commences
a pursuit. In the end, he gets justice -- the magnate is imprisoned
and must return the horses "fattened and groomed by his own hand"
to their original condition. Unfortunately, the trader is also convicted
of insurrection and (falsely) murder and is hanged. The trader tells
his son on the gallows to never let anyone trample his rights. Based
on a true story. It is an HBO original film and has been showing
off and on for about a year now. John Goodman plays the hanging
judge and some other famous name (I forget!) played the horse trader/vigilante.
It is interesting to note the portrayal of the Governor of the Territory
of Wyoming and his political handlers. Their attempted spin control
of the vigilante activity amidst the drive join the Union is truely
Clintonesque. My rating: ####/****." --M.A.
-- "One that you ought to check out is So
Big (with Jane Wyman, not the earlier, weaker Barbara Stanwyck
version), about a self-made woman and the son who turns his back
on the values she taught him. I think it's very Randian in some
of its atmosphere, and yet it's a bit of a dilemma for libertarians:
the son turns away from the architecture he loves because he can
make more money in sales. And we see that's the wrong choice. Yet
what's so wrong with making money? I seem to recall there's a particularly
Randian line when she looks up at her late father's picture and
reflects on his values. Check it out." --D.B.
-- "Just saw a video you might want to checkout--The
Simple Life of Noah Dearborn. The video is about a carpenter
and farmer who lives simply and in harmony with nature and his
neighbors. A real estate company pressures him to sell his small
farm. When the tactics fail, the head of the real estate firm attempts
to get his fiancee, a psychologist, to declare the man incompetent.
When she gets to know the man, the psychologist sees a man of wisdom
and simplicity who is loved by his community. She sides with him
to fight the developer." --J.G.
-- "I am not sure you have already mentioned it, but BeastMaster,
which I've watched only very briefly just twice has mentioned a
number of distinctly libertarian themes, eg liberty, individualism,
etc. One of the women stars of an episode appears to have been
named "Kira," an unusual name but the heroine of Ayn Rand's "We
the Living." If you haven't already noticed and mentioned it, you
may want to check it out." --B.I.
-- "You missed a great movie update on HBO last night (1998-The
Pentagon Wars w/Kelsey Grammer, Cary Elwes, Clifton Powell,
Olympia Dukakis, etc ) about Pentagons overuns on production of
the Army's 'Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle'." --N.A.
-- "One of my favorite obscure movies with a strong libertarian
bent (and which I saw as part of a series programmed by a socialist,
believe it or not): Utz,
starring Armin Mueller-Stahl - I hope you've had a chance to see
-- "Thanks for the delightful review of "Pimlico" - it's been
one of my fave undiscovered classics for years ... before I knew
I was a Libbie, even! (IIRC, I first saw it one rainy Sunday afternoon
in the early '60s). I'd also point you to a couple of other Brilliant
Brit-flix from that time period and a bit later - the Boulting Brothers
All Right, Jack, Private's
Progress and The
Man In The White Suit .. all of which (esp. the first one) take
on corporatism and conformity head on. (The focal point is not specifically
government, although that surely takes its licks, but authoritarianism
in general ...) Anyway, if you haven't encountered those, check
them out." --S.T.
-- "Just thought I'd point out some films I've seen recently
which you may wish to see (if you haven't already): The
Iron Giant. Warner Brothers animated feature about a 50 ft robot
who crash lands in the woods of northern Maine. Set during the 1950's,
amidst paranoia over Sputnik. The robot is discovered by a extremely
resourceful 12 year old boy, Hogarth Hughes, who tries to hide the
robot from a monomaniacal federal agent who is bent on destroying
the robot. Closetland. Madeline Stowe and Alan Rickman star. Stowe
plays a children's book author who's arrested in the middle of the
night and spirited to a windowless, aseptic, torture chamber. Rickman
plays a sadistic government interrogator who tries to "persuade"
her to confess to interweaving seditious themes into her stories."
-- "Check out Ganashatru.
It's the Indian version of 'Enemy of the people'." --G.O.
Live in Fear (1955) concerns an elderly industrialist who is
terrified of nuclear warfare and nuclear testing, so much so that
his parasitic family attempts to have him stripped of some legal
rights on charges he's insane. Themes of interest: anti-war; a
strong-willed industrialist whose story reminds me in some ways
of The Fountainhead; the rights of the individual to act eccentric
(etc) in a very regimented society; the rights of the allegedly
"insane"; and more. Again, this is just an incredible movie, a
Mine is about a soldier from Earth who crash lands on a planet
where he encounters a surviving enemy soldier of another species.
They need each other to survive, and eventually become friends.
Anti-war message." --S.M.
-- "Have a movie review recommendation. Xiu
Xiu the Sent Down Girl (recently out on video) is a Chinese
film with a strong anti-collectivist message. It's theme is the
insensitivity of the collective in dealing with the lives and dreams
of individuals and how, in a socialist/communist world, people's
lives are trashed at will by the state and those in power. Starts
out slow, but packs a real wallup and is beautifully filmed (almost
Australian-like in cinematography and other production values."
-- "See Right
of Way, with Bette Davis and James Stewart. It's about the right
to die." --J.I.
Listened is a Cuban film about Human Rights Abuses." --W.S.
-- "I wonder if you ever reviewed the HBO movie, The
Jack Bull, starring John Cusack and Dan Goodman, with a bunch
of other familiar faces. I just watched it on video tape and
it was a wonderful story about freedom, what a man does when the
rule of law fails him, and what happens to him when he goes too
far and has to accept responsibility. One quote from the film
( as I remember it), "I am a free man in a free territory. Where
there is no law, I must make the law myself." Good film and excellent
libertarian messages." --S.J.
der Anderlen (or something like that--it's German for "Different
from the Others") was made in 1919 and featuring a rousing speech
by Hirschfeld condemning the notorious "Paragraph 175", the part
of the German penal code that criminalized homosexuality. The Nazis
destroyed every copy in every part of Europe they ever controlled,
and it was believed to be entirely lost until an encapsulated 25
minute version (edited from the original 90 minute version by the
original director) was discovered in a Soviet archive in Kiev in
the late 1970's by Western researchers on a cultural visa. Evidently
it had been stored there by sympathetic (probably gay) Ukranian
communists during the early liberal days of the Russian Revolution
(when some communes condoned homosexuality), and then forgotten
by the time of Stalin, when most such things in Soviet libraries
and archives were also destroyed (except, thank heavens, for the
letters of Tchaikovsky and other such figures too revered for their
works to be destroyed, no matter what they contained). Anyway, Jon,
while the silent film melodramatic style won't exactly earn this
film many of your stars, I think it might well garner four or five
liberation hatchmarks. It's an astonishing document, considering
how long ago it was made, that's for sure." --S.D.
-- "I saw a great movie today that wasn't on your list. It
was on AMC at 11:00 am CDT, called The
Counterfeit Traitor staring William Holden, made in 1962 about
an American born Swede who becomes a spy for the Allies in WWII.
It was surprisingly good. Try to check it out!" --N.N.
-- "I am looking for a video of a TV movie that was made in
1968, called Shadow
on the Land. I found information on it at Internet Movie Database's
website, but have not been able to find how to get a copy. It was
produced by Columbia Pictures Television and distributed by ABC.
It stars Jackie Cooper and Frederic Downs, and it's about "patriotic
freedom fighters struggle against a fascist dictatorship in a near-future
-- "Have you seen the movie The
Education of Little Tree? Really good film! And much of its
theme is quite libertarian. Highly recommended! " --S.H.
-- "Just finished watching The
Simple Life of Noah Dearborn, in which Sidney Poitier played
this ageless carpenter up against land developers wanting his land
- developers who ended up trying to use the so-called "therapeutic
power of the state" to have the man committed - just because he
lived alone, didn't have electricity and kept to his own counsel.
Talk about man against the system!! And a beautiful example of standing
strong (with a little help from a sympathetic shrink...) and winning
in the end..." --M.I.
-- "Things of the Spirit, a new documentary about Calivin
Coolidge, sounds quite promising. Billed as "a biographical film
on the life and philosophy" of the man, the film was supposed praised
by Michael Medved as "Quite simply, the finest documentary I've
ever seen." Also, George Gilder had glowing things to say about
it. Bottom line: if you get the chance to see and review it, you
probably should. Film by John Karol." --K.Y.
(1998), starring Harvey Keitel, Andie MacDowall, John Franklin Sawyer
--- About a 99 year old black man in 1930s who walks from Alabama
to the ground in Virginia where he was young (and in slavery). He
wants to die and be buried there. But the Commonwealth of Virginia
has made it illegal to bury someone on private property. Good movie.
the Line of Duty: Kidnapped (1995). A corrupt IRS agent uses
private tax information for personal profit via kidnapping and ransom.
Drama/ Dabney Coleman" --T.E.
Man With Nine Lives (1940) Boris Karloff is about a scientist
who is trying to invent a cure for cancer, but whose experiments
are disrupted by the authorities." --S.C.
-- "Just wanted to make sure you knew about the movie Victory,
because I don't remember seeing it in the e-mail guide. I don't
have your book so I wasn't sure. It's a 1981 movie with Sylvester
Stallone and Michael Caine, where an Allied soccer team of war prisoners
end up playing soccer against the German team, while planning an
escape. Like a cross between "Stir Crazy", "The Longest Yard", and
a Nazi-era liberation movie. Just an FYI. Definite libertarian themes.
-- "Just wanted to suggest a possible TV show for your review.
SciFi recently introduced Tremors:
The Series (www.scifi.com/tremors) based on the films by the
same name. The main character is Burt Gummer, played by Michael
Gross. Burt's a survivalist, and while he acts in a stereotypical
over-the-top survivalist fashion, he is still portrayed in a positive
manner. He is considered an eccentric by the other townspeople,
but no one (except the feds & the media) ever implies that he is
a danger to anyone. He is intensely anti-government, and in many
cases his anti-government "paranoia" turns out to be true. Feds
are shown in a neutral to negative light, involved in everything
from coverups to incompetence to simple unintended consequences.
If you don't have access to the Sci-Fi channel, you can download
the episodes from www.tremorsfan.com (although I think you have
to register in order to download). I recommend "Feeding Frenzy"
(the premier), "Ghost Dance", and "Night of the Shriekers" (in that
order) to get the full "Tremors" feel. The downloads are, of course,
huge. I had to use a download manager (GetRight) in order to complete
the transfer (otherwise the downloads kept getting cut off after
several hours)." --D.R.
-- "Another film worthy of note (if you don't have it in your
ratings or guide already) is 1979's Over
The Edge. It shows what can happen when you have meticulous
city planning. The kids revolt (led by Matt Dillon) and some really
scary things happen." --B.B.
-- "I went to see The
Pianist on Saturday. Aside from the fact that I thought it was
a well-made film (done by Roman Polanski), it did cover the subject
of the Wausaw Ghetto uprising. The main charachter in the movie
was involved in the part of the effort to smuggle firearms to the
resistance members. He almost gets caught a couple of times. Later,
after escaping his captors he is put into hiding by friends in which
his room has a view of a section of the Ghetto and sees the uprising
break out first hand. After the uprising is over, the charachter
openly expresses regrets to a friend visiting him in the apartment
he is hiding in that he wished he was there. His friend replies
that he would have ended up dead or worse and it wasnt worth it.
His friend then says she is sure that the example of the Jew's courage
of resistance will inspire others in Poland to resist the Nazis.
I thought this little tie in that was made in this film to the Wausaw
Ghetto Jews who resisted the Nazis with smuggled firearms might
be of interest to you all since it is clear that these scenes are
an acknowledgement that the Jews who resisted with smuggles firearms
inspired the Poles to resist the Nazis as well. The whole movie
itself is based on a true story. Overall, The Pianist is a great
flick. " --M.R.
-- "The 2001 film Focus
is the story of a couple that decides to go up against mainstream
society in fighting anti-semiticism. They are accused of being Jews
when in fact they are not. Having faced the hate of their neighbors,
the couple decides to identify with the victims of hate. Stars Laura
Dern and William H. Macy. The film was based on Arthur Miller's
most controversial work." --R.R.
-- "I don't know whether you've updated the status of Card's
'Ender's Game' -- there's something on this
site from November, who's picked for director etc." --D.B.
-- "I would definitely recommend the new "Outer Limits" programs
as being worthy of mention. I know that in the previous incarnation
of that show, Neil Schulman was one of the writers (great libertarian
sci-fi writer). One of the new shows featured an institution for
troubled youths, which turned out to be a corporate assassination
league. The young men were drugged and implanted with computer chips.
The hero of the show managed to escape from the electronic smart
fence (somewhat like those used for dogs), and it was really excellent.
A more recent show dealt with libertarian themes in an Amish-like
setting, and although it had a disappointing conclusion, it was
still thought-provoking." --B.B.
-- "I recently saw a film titled Unlawful
Entry which is about a couple being terrorized by a cop. Issues
of corruption, guns, police power. Kurt Russell stars, I believe
he has identified himself as a libertarian." --B.H.
-- "I would like to suggest a film for your review as libertarian.
I wholeheartedly endorse this film as libertarian and hope that
you will also. The
Matrix 1999 Science fiction starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence
Fishburne Society, as we know it, has been taken over by an all
encompassing Matrix, that has enslaved mankind for it's own end.
A small band of 'rebels' fight to expose the delusions which hold
the populace in check. Only when men are able to comprehend the
world around them are they capable of living life on their own terms.
The Matrix is the government. The real world is our libertarian
struggle. The ending is the birth of a new libertarian." --G.O.
-- "I think Disney/Pixar's A
Bug's Life has some libertarinishness to it. In case you haven't
seen it, Flik is an ant always invents things that make life easier
and more productive for the ants. but he can never put them into
practice because all of his energies need to go to working so the
ants can pay the grasshoppers for "protection." at the end of the
movie the ants realize they're strong enough on their own and, once
they rid themselves of the grasshoppers, they advance technologically
and are better off over all. Sounds libertarian to me anyway."
-- "Movie suggestion (I am not aware if you reviewed this
Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story. Available also on
DVD, it is a real story of an Cuban musician struggling under the
regime and trying to get away. Very different than feel-good movies
such as Buena Vista Social Club which show the Western viewer quite
a false picture. This one is rather closer to another fine movie
set in Castro Cuba "Before Night Falls". Having lived under communism,
this movie made sense to me." --R.K.
-- "Have you reviewed Revolution?
I actually think the movie has a huge message to libertarians who
think the American Revolution was all "good and just". Al Pacino
is in it and while the movie is somewhat dry, it has some interesting
property right problems." --T.K.
-- "Ukrainian films are not exactly tearing up the international
film industry these days. That's why the critical acclaim received
Undefeated, the latest movie by Oles Yanchuk, is making quite
a stir. The feature-length film about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army's
battle against the Nazi and Soviet armies is winning fans around
the world." --M.B.