Hollywood and Politics

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Hollywood film-makers have provided a mixed-bag of pictures: from the god-awful Frank Capra prayer for the naive, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, to such powerful anti-state films as Shenandoah, with a great collection of wonderful anti-war films in between (see my earlier articles on the topic) such as The Americanization of Emily. After the Republican Party’s recent effort to advertise its lemming stampede to disassociate itself from anyone who might (gasp!) embrace philosophically-principled positions, I thought of a film that best reflected the nature of both political parties: it is The Godfather (and its sequels). When Michael Corleone was at the christening of his grandson, the presiding priest asked him: “Do you renounce Satan?,” to which Michael replied “I do renounce him.” The priest then asked: “And all his works?,” and Michael responded: “I do renounce them.” While the christening was going on, Michael’s thugs were shown murdering members of the Corelone “family’s” opponents.

Another scene involved Michael and his soon-to-be wife, Kay, discussing the nature of the godfather’s business. Michael said to her “My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.” Kay responds, “Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.” Michael’s response: “Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?”

There was even a warning to Ron Paul — and anyone else who might be inclined to speak the truth to the powerless: “Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking again.”

12:49 pm on September 2, 2012