Head em up, move em out!
How Old Movies Show What New Movies Say are Lies
Many young people nowadays are indoctrinated to believe that American culture has always been dominated by conservative, racist, and other nasty influences. Understanding this complex history has not been balanced by this new indoctrination and distortion. It’s merely been made biased in the opposite direction far more systematically than it ever was before. Racism against African-Americans and many other things in American history are undeniable–and shouldn’t be.
Consequently there was plenty of room for improvement. But that same history also shows there is no need for endless self-flagellation. I’ve often noticed this but it came to my attention again in rewatching the film that brought a certain man to stardom. So what better way to learn about the true and dominant themes than that classical Western directed by John Ford, “Stagecoach” (1939) [For full script see here.]
Let’s examine the politics of the film. As a traditional Western, it shows the Americans—not whites, Americans—as good guys in a battle with the Apaches. Aside from this, though, are the following plot points:
–The stagecoach driver is married to a Mexican-American woman. No negative aspersions are cast at all. This is totally accepted. Incidentally, all three of John Wayne’s wives were “Hispanics.”
–The heroes of the film are an outlaw, whose motives for killing a man are portrayed sympathetically, and a prostitute.
—-One theme that runs through the film is how the “respectable” people are mean to the prostitute and that’s a terrible thing.
–Although the women are treated by the male characters as delicate, etc., their behavior shows them to be courageous, clear-headed, and as tough as circumstances require.
–The main villains are a banker and an ex-Confederate officer who has turned gambler, shot men in the back, and is a social snob.