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Opposing values in American thought as depicted in films

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  1. Introduction
  2. Opposing values
  3. Opposing values in American thought as depicted in films
  4. Analysis
  5. Conclusion

In a world where movie directors and filmmakers are building a name for themselves Robert Ray in A Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema(1930-1980) tries to show the need for filmmakers to produce movies that every person can relate. Ray emphasizes on the need for commitment in both plot and technique. Traditional American mythology dictates that there should be opposing forces in the film in order to capture the viewers' attention. I will focus on three films namely, Scarface (1932), shadow of the doubt (1943) and Waterfront (1954).My essence is to show how the various films through the magnificent directing have brought out the theme of opposing values of the worldly success versus the ordinary life.

The films bring to light the fact that most people get into the world of crime with the notion that they will achieve success be it fame or money and other material gains. However, it is crucial to understand that worldly success does not only mean hunger for money and other luxuries, rather it can something psychological as is the case some of the films that I am going to analyze. In essence, the individuals in the films are motivated by a desire to accomplish something. The heroes in the films depict any ordinary viewer.

[...] There is symbolism in the film, for instance, the pigeons depict the dockworkers as press at the mercy of the mob. By wearing Joey's jacket Terry, symbolizes a new dawn whereby he is now an advocator of justice. In the entire directing of the waterfront, transformation is evident. Terry grows from a fearful and submissive man with no dignity in the first scene to a courageous man who is ready to defend himself and others in the face of evil in the last scene. [...]


[...] While some people try to gain worldly success in their lives others are motivated to lead normal and ordinary lives. This is the case in the waterfront as Terry's ambition for worldly success changes to need for ordinary life when he falls in love with Eddie. His initial desire for power is replaced by the need to provide each dockworker with freedom. Terry shuns the mobsters whose aim is to deprive the workers of their hard- earned money. Johnny Friendly, the leader of the mob, is the power hungry, and he does everything in his power to harass those who do not belong to the mob. [...]


[...] That he killed his friend because of dating his sister is thought provoking. Therefore, there is indecision between choosing wealth and living an ordinary life. In the Shadow of the doubt, Charlie depicts a character whose greed for wealth leads him to murder rich widows and take their wealth. It depicts the extent to which human beings greed for worldly success overshadows their thinking. Although he seems to lead a normal life, in a rundown building in Philadelphia, Charlie has a lot of money, which we learn that he has acquired through illicit means as he marries widows and then killed them. [...]


[...] Bibliography American thought. (1947). New York: Gresham Press. Curti, M. (1964). The growth of American thought. New York: Harper & Row. In Schlesinger, A. M., & In White, M. G. [...]

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