Class in the movies
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Postings 5 through 69 out of a total of 42
5. re. Blue Collar Movies
Who says blue collar people can't be neat, soft-spoken, intelligent, mannerly, tasteful? Blue-collar is a description of an individual's job title/income, NOT his/her personal characteristics!!! As my mother always said, "We may not be able to dress like them (the rich) but we CAN be clean, neat, well-mannered and well-spoken." That's a choice which doesn't require money.
6. Blue Collar Movies
You gotta go back in time a bit. "Norma Rae". Shot on location in a southern mill town, locals playing the extras. Feels genuine and sincere, Academy Awards were well-deserved. Shows us the eternal dilemma of working-class activism, that inherent nagging contradiction: how it often takes well-meaning middle-or-upper-class liberals to prod the disenfranchised into fighting for their own liberation -- they're too damn busy just trying to pay the rent and feed the kids!
"Steel Magnolias". Class issues weren't at the forefront, but the setting made it feel real. (Hey, I've lived in towns like that.) Can you imagine that story played by the cast of "Friends"? EEEyarghh!
"Dolores Claiborne". Similar applies.
Set the Way-Back Machine back a little more...
"On The Waterfront". "The Grapes of Wrath". "Of Mice And Men". ..just to name a few shining examples.
We liberal-minded viewers love our cinematic working-class heroes (I say this with without irony). Conversely, the movies we like that play in the monied world, are the ones which show the upper class's weaknesses and foibles: "Six Degrees of Separation".
Lastly, those flix that worship the white-trash trailer park universe on the altar of cult and camp. High priest, of course, being John Waters. "Polyester". "Hair Spray". Includes small-screen offshoots of the Cult of Camp such as "Married With Children" and "The Simpsons". And the most excellent band "Southern Culture On The Skids". The worship is sincere and not intended to be cruel or ridicule its subjects. (Here I disagree with the essay "Dark Side Of Camp" on this site). People who've never lived in small-town, southern, lower or working-class settings may perceive such entertainment as mean-spirited parody. If you never met 'em you can't love 'em.
-- (Today It's Peggy the Piggly Wiggly Checkout Gal)
8. to "M"
"Who says blue collar people can't be neat, soft-spoken, intelligent, mannerly, tasteful? Blue-collar is a description of an individual's job title/income, NOT his/her personal characteristics!!!"
Of course they can be, but for the most part, they are not. I come from an upper-middle class family. I had an extremely privileged, private school- equestrian showjumping- piano recitals-"summering"- opera season tickets- type childhood. I was very sheltered and I grew up thinking that all adults were as intelligent, educated and tasteful as my parents and other adults I was exposed to. Then, before I went to law school, I got a job as a traffic school instructor, because I thought that it would look good on my applications. What an eye-opening experience. I taught the rules of the road to a complete cross section of society. Each session, I was forced to adapt to the dredges of society to some extent. Unfortunately, stereotypes are not created out of nothing. It was, repeatedly, the students of the lower classes who were rude, boisterous, demanding and exhibited poor manners, as well as ummm.. didn't appear to be the 'sharpest knives in the drawer,' so to speak. Conversely, repeatedly, it was the upper middle class professionals whom were the most respectful, soft-spoken and mannerly students in the classes.
What did I learn? I learned that I am utterly grateful for my class status and that I strive to insulate myself from all of that to the greatest extent possible.
-- (young female law student)
11. Nobody's Fool
"Nobody's Fool" with Paul Newman; perhaps too much of a "middle class actor playing down" for some, but I thought he handled the role and the film with honesty and dignity
-- (John Robie)
12. grrr - young female law student
As someone from the working class, I'm deeply offended by your attitude, and the very idea that you might someday be a part of the judicial system frightens me.
What hope has our democracy if those in power cannot feel a kinship with those who have none?
Please, before you begin your legal career, spend a few years working among the indigent, and try to learn something about how life is lived by most of the country.
-- (John K.)
14. "Stella Dallas"
Let's not forget this oldie that was ALL about class. Poor working class girl marries upper class man. Can't fit in to his crowd, or vice versa, marriage disolves.
In the end the (sob) self-sacrificing mother sends her daughter to live with Dad in his upper class world for the "advantages."
It's a great look at class differences in the forties when they were a bit more pronounced.
-- (Andrea Z)
16. To the lawyer wannabe
Lady, I hope you learn to be more focused in dealing with your clients than you have displayed in this discussion. This discussion is about "class in the movies." It is not a discussion about your life experience.
Has anyone mentioned "Midnight Cowboy"? Now, there is a study in class for you.
-- (Marlene Adams-Phillips)
17. Recommended Movies
Great Class movies (in no particular order):
1. The Talented Mr. Ripley (obviously).
2. Six Degrees of Separation. I didn't respect Will Smith as an actor until I saw this movie 2 weeks ago. GREAT FILM, came out in the 80's. Will's character pretends to be Sidney Poitier's son in order to fit into a solidly upper-middle class New York circle. He is another Mr. Ripley.
3. The House of Mirth. Great film adaptation, great performance from 'The X-files' woman (can't remember her name). Middle meets upper-middle.
4. Working Girl, comedy. 80's flick. Working class meets middle.
Anyone know of any more?
18. Young female law student
I am also from the upper middle class. My parents never showed it, though. I grew up priveleged (in my opinion) because I was one of the kids who didn't have to worry about whether or not I had enough to eat, if I could afford to go to college, or wonder if I was going anywhere for spring break. You see, because I grew up with parents who didn't have to prove they had a lot of financial resources, I also grew up with people who had no idea I was different from them. They were always somehow surprised that I had as much as I had. And I kept forgetting that I was different. I grew up very secure, but hardly gave it a second thought.
I suffered prejudice over race, religion, and having more or less opportunity than others. I saw a lot of ugly things coming from my own race- both the hispanic half and the anglo half. There were nights when I prayed that I wouldn't become a bigot because there were some hispanic girls who kept trying to beat me up because I was too white. I knew very well that not all hispanics weren't like that because the same girls were probably my cousins.
My point is that-and this may sound harsh at first- you have allowed yourself to become infected with bigotry. You know very well that you aren't the same as all upper-middle class people. So take a closer look at what you just said and try to think about what you're promoting.
19. What's the Problem?
Class in America is a dirty subject, so nobody wants to talk about it. So, then it's logical that hollywood wouldn't bring up the subject in a controversial way. When people complain that movies like "Pretty Woman" perpetuate class myths and are therefore destructive, they are being foolish. It isn't in the interest of hollywood to be shaping the morals and beliefs of society. Hollywood tells us what we want to hear. So, if we change our attitudes as a culture, then maybe movies won't be 'perpetuating dangerous class myths.'
21. Class in The Movies.
Dear Class In America,
I have been thinking about,what film speaks about Classes in our society?! The one film that keeps coming to my mind is "Titanic."The Upper classes would be able to dine in elegance in the ship's dining room,take advantage of its luxuries,while the lower classes were known as "Steerage." But,as the movie had begun to tell its tale,you would get to see how the classes would be treated.
The poor would be pushed aside,and,looked down upon.You would watch the fictional account of two young people,(Jack and Rose),fall in love,despite their classes.Jack was an orphan,and,Rose had been raised in an upper class home.She had attended boarding schools.She had learned how to ride horses,and,she had become a society girl.
She was betrothed to marry a rich oil tycoon's son,in order for her selfish mother to stay in the lifestyle that,her late husband had given her,and,the life that,she was accustomed to.
In movies,the poor are never looked as "heroes,"but as either losers,or dirt between the toes of the wealthy.In reality,this is the case.What the movies seem to say is,that sometimes classes do meet.They can meet in very unconventional ways.We might one day run across a politician,or a film director in a book store,
just browsing.0r,see an actor at his film premiere.Anything in life is possible.
-- (Ivy )
26. My view on class in the movies
Today i see class in the movies as becoming more realistic. there are still many more advances we need to make, inorder to get ourselves out of our stereotypical shell. we still see the same old people playing the rich and the same old people playing the less fortunate. the only difference i see is the fact that we now are beginning to see the darker side of the upper class, and the middle to lower class is starting to be portrayed as main stream and a class that does not depend on money to be happy. i hope that our society can keep advancing in this direction! the younger generations of our society need to see the "real-life" views of others!
-- (Female Junior in High School)
27. My view on class in movies
I also think that class is being portrayed more acurately in movies. I think the rich lifestyle is not as glamorized as it was decades ago. I also think this may be with the new money we are finding in the upper eschelon of the social totem pole. The stock market, professional sports, and the music industry have allowed people with barely enough money to feed themselves to get enough money to buy mansions, etc. I think all of this mixing of social classes has really brought many aspects of american social classes to light.
28. To Mike and his Rock Star Lifestyle
If what you mean by accuracy of social class in the movies is in reference to stereotypes, than I agree with you. But donít you think itís wrong when movies only perpetuate class divisions? Mike, the idea that become a sports star or a music sensation to make millions should be used to justify class boundaries is ridiculous. Secondly, donít you need money to make money in the stock market? Movies that depict the lucky band that makes it big, or the ghetto boy who becomes a big time baler, or the middle class man made millionaire through one day of trading stocks on the Internet, these do nothing but justify our stereotypes. We have come a long way from the era of white men applying shoe polish to their skin to play black roles, but you must ask yourself how far. Lastly, I hope that becoming a world renowned basketball/musical star, who plays the stock market in his free time, works out for you Mike.
29. Final Thought on Accuracy
How can you say that class is being portrayed more accurately in movies? Iím sorry, but this is just not true. If anything were are currently encountering an era that is engulfed by franchise flicks. These films are only produced for one simple reason, MONEY!!! How can you say class is being portrayed accurately when half of the ďnewĒ ideas for movies come from old comic books (Spider Man), cartoons (Scooby Doo), and old 1930ís movies (The Mummy).
And even when movies today address the issues of social class, it is not accurately, it is more stereotypically. I could name a hundreds of movies that have come out within the past decade that are more about keeping society the way it is than about brining about change. Even movies that are about anarchy almost always end in a way that lead moviegoers to return to their anti-anarchy ways before leaving the theater. One of the greatest examples of this is Fight Club.
In Fight Club, Edward Norton creates Tyler Durden, his inner voice of rebellion, anarchy, and animal instincts. Tyler deals with all of his needs and wants that he canít handle himself. Tyler is the way to change what is holding us back, money. What happens, Tyler dies and Edward Norton tries to rebuild his life with his newfound love interest. He gives in, he returns to the cash society, he therefore justifies the class inequality. Another movie much the same is Salt Lake City Punks. This movie is about a crazy punk of lives for anarchy. He first shows the viewers how twisted our society is, yelling out to us to let go of the misdirected ways of society. But in the end even our punk rebel labels himself as a sellout and tells us how he is going to become a Lawyer.
Thus, it is okay to rebel, just as long as you settle down into the norm sometime. From this we are told to accept our social class, be nothing but what we are expected to be. One thing that is accurate about the films of today is that they are money made, with that I mean if a film is not expected to make money than it will not be made. The focus of movies here is about money and submission, it has nothing to do with how accurate movies depict social class. Then again, maybe that is all that social class is about after all; money and submission.
31. Alice Adams
This film, made in 1935, is without question one of the finest looks at the role of class in American society. Katherine Hepburn plays the titular character, the daughter of a clerk. Although her life is far from dreadful (her home is actually moderately attractive and she never needs to worry about food or clothing), she feels extraordinary shame that she is considered "beneath" many of the wealthier denizens of her town. In an effort to conceal the fact that she is "only" middle class, she consistently lies about her financial, social, and cultural background to those around her. Later in the film, she invites a new beau of hers (adroitly played by Fred McMurray) to dinner at her family's home. McMurray's character is that of a well to do yet unprententious young gentleman. The family goes so far as to hire a maid just for that one night in an effort to impress McMurray. The dinner proves to be an unmitigated catastrophe, but I will decline to reveal the denouement. The film shows up on Turner Classic Movies from time to time, and is based on the Booth Tarkington novel, which actually featured a conclusion quite different from the movie version.
32. Young Female Law Student
I think you made some challenging, even trenchant observations. I am not a wealthy man - my net worth is no more than half a million dollars, most of which comes from the house my father left me. Nor is my education anything extraordinary - I have a B.A. from a public university and am currently employed by the federal government in a white collar job that pays a rather pedestrian salary.
I do tend to agree with you that the higher an individual's social class, the more likley the person is to be refined, polite, and couth - but this is not invariable - I've met proletariats who possessed more class in their fingertips than their patrician counterparts had in their entire body.
One question I have for you: You said you were an instructor in a "traffic class" wherein the "higher class" people were far more pleasant to deal with than the "lower class" individuals. How did you ascertain the social class of your students? Did they reveal their incomes, occupations, or net worths to you? Were you able to determine their class from their mastery of the English language (vocabulary, diction, general elocution)? The clothes they wore? I've attended many lectures in my 35 years, and must confess that determining where other students fit on the social stratum is not a simple task.
33. Social class and movies
3. Brideshead Revisited
4. Howard's End.
5. Room with a View
6. Handful of Dust
...in no particular order. The Merchant Ivory films, and the BBC productions of Evelyn Waugh novels seem to have far more subtle and convincing depictions of the upper end of the spectrum than most of what Hollywood has produced.
I think this reflects a lack of genuine understanding of the American upper classes by Hollywood. They get it wrong so often that it is no wonder most Americans have a complete lack of understanding of their own upper class and what this class believes, thinks, and values (both the positives and negatives).
Class is evident in so many movies...In our society class is such an important issue whether we admit it or not. Sometimes, in my opinion, movies glorify social class, and not just with upper-upper class but also with the lower class as well
-- (SOC student)
sorry my mistake
-- (soc student 24)
36. Movies and real life
I agree with u Ivy. But today it si still like that. Poeple always lookin on what u where or what u look like, more of color is a big thinggoing on. It never stop but it just want away for some years and now its back. Today its just like that. When ur out just set back and look at wehats a round u. its always going to be there.
Yes, class has proved to be an issue in movies simply because of how it is portrayed, therefore giving many people an even greater idea of how to stereotype.
Sadly, as I can see by the previous posters, no one of any form of intelligence will be reading this anyway.
47. Class in the Movies
It is kinda amazing to look at the way that the movies have evolved when concerning class. From ANNIE where the two classes, lower and high class interact and have relations, to those shows such as Sense and Sensability that shows how your status is affected by your class and where you stand in the society. To todays where you see the exact same things, movies such as, Rent. So it is kinda cool to look back and see the evolution of class in the movie!
-- (Judy H.)
48. children moovies
I neede some childdren moovies for my job at nvcc so do you no about any child moovie
this website blows
50. Realism and Intent
Class in the movies is not supposed to educate us about reality, and succeeds in not doing so! Like all drama and comedy, it portrays a series of stock characters in returning plots.
Study these entertainments for what film makers think you the viewer already think about class. Don't use them as reliable study clues to the backgrounds of your traffic school students!
ADVERTISEMENT: Clearly there is a job opening at pbs dot org for someone who could repair the formatting of this page so that the comments will wrap!
-- (Household income $75K a year in Jacksonville FL U.S.A.)
54. just class in general
hi i just thought i would say i hate school compleatly and most of the people on this sight seem like they are pretty involved in their school and classes. thats cool in all maybe its just not for me. well thanks anyways!!!!
-- (polly contreras)
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I LOVE MOVIES IN SCHOOL
-- (Miz Contreras (La LLerona))
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I LOVE MOVIES IN SCHOOL
-- (Miz Contreras (La LLerona))
57. This woman
This woman we got right on over here is da schiz. She be droppin that heat on her son like its her job. She rocks that town. She may be trippin wit no dough, but she be gettin some soon. No dout. You da shiz woman. Keep it good.
I like apples and would love to share with you.
-- (Mr. Cash)
i think tammy is hot and would love to date that dime piece
-- (andrew minnis)
-- (ben leclerc)
-- (ben leclerc)
-- (ben leclerc)
I think the kids deserve more. The mother needs to go back on welfare and get her act together. The older kid who spoke seems to be polite and a good kid. The kids should attempt to get some sort of jobs and help out around the house.
64. Class in Movies
In "The Blind Side", Sandra Bullock-the wife of a wealthy CEO of Burger King-takes in Big Mike, a poor teen from the streets whose mother is a drug addict and father is no where to be found. Sandra shows the good side of the lower-upper class in US society, and Big Mike represents the lower class of US society.
I think that too many people look at a persons surroundings and the way they dress to determine what social class they are in. I dont think it should matter what social class someone is in rather than the person they truly are.
In the "Green Mile" you see that all of the white people were educated and better off. Then you see a man like Jon Coffee who is automatically accused of being a killer when in reality it was a white guy who killed the two little girls.
67. social class?
I dont really think it matters what class you're in, as long as you're happy.
68. blue collar vs. white collar
Social class is a superficial way to look at some one. There are some white collar workers that have distasteful personalities as apposed to some blue collar workers that I know which have great manner and are respectful. In the movies this is not how they are portreyed
69. Blue Collar Movies
I agreee with comment #1 completely. WHy can't people of the lower classes have the same manners as the upper classes? Just because they don't have as much money doesn't mean that they always have to be "trailer trash." I mean, yeah, some of them can be like that, but it's not for all of them. It's just not right to assume that if someone's in the lower classes it means that they are arrogant, ignorant, or ill-mannered. =(