For Heroes At The Movies
Lukens [writer] 8/15/06
these days do you see a movie that would make John Wayne proud.
an age of moral equivalence, heroes at the movies have become
hard to find. "World Trade Center" is a good film
because it stirs the hero inside each of us.
what you may think of Oliver Stone, his new film is a rare
and honest salute to family, honor, duty, patriotism, and religious
faith. It is as good a film as I have ever seen.
Lukens writes engaging opinion columns from a fresh,
conservative point of view. He is also a Staff Writer
for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3)
coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets.
He can be contacted through his website at www.jefflukens.com[go
to Guest index]
Hey, I'm a movie buff. I love to be inspired by a good movie.
Today's movies, however, have been lacking inspiration. Too often,
I seem to be leaving the theater wondering why I still go to
About the only genre of film Hollywood can still make well is
the boy meets girl romantic comedy. Though the actors are different,
the story line of these movies is generally the same as they
were in the days of Rock Hudson and Doris Day. It is hard to
miss with this template even when bathroom
humor and sexual innuendo suffice for comedy.
But what I really want to see is a hero. You know, that's someone
motivated to act beyond his or her own self-interest. It's that
person faced with an overwhelming challenge or moral dilemma.
Usually, he or she can do the easy thing and run away. But instead
they muster the courage, stay, and do the right thing.
A great example of a hero in a movie is Rick
(played by Humphrey Bogart) in "Casablanca." In it,
he is a disillusioned and world-weary cynic. In a town where
he seeks escape, he happens
to meet his former lover, Ilsa (played by Ingrid Bergman).
The problem for him is that she is with her husband. She explains
that she was secretly married all along, but her husband was
a leader in the Nazi resistance and was presumed dead. Now, she
tells Rick she doesn't know what to do in the confusing world
of love and war, and that he must decide what is best for both
So, what does he do? Why, he does the right thing, of course.
He puts her and her husband on the plane so they could continue
the resistance movement against the Nazis. And at great risk
to himself, Rick shoots a Nazi officerso the plane can get away.
Great stuff. I never get tired of that film because I always
come away from it feeling that great things are possible for
anyone willing to stand up for what is right.
"Casablanca" is very different from
what passes for a drama flick today. Gratuitous violence and
too often substitute for a story line. It is usually a wild ride
that only leaves me in a haze.
In days of yore, the film industry had a fondness for ordinary
people. They portrayed the hero as one of us, as an example of
the best of what we have to offer. They had an understanding
and empathy for the American way of life.
In those days, the stars represented the common guy. Jimmy Stewart,
Clark Gable, and Henry Fonda were heroes on and off the screen.
They, and many others, even volunteered to serve in the military
Obviously, Hollywood no longer connects with the public in that
way. Many of today's directors and stars were born into the movie
business, and know of little else. They are fabulously wealthy,
and have no clue as to the everyday wants and needs of regular
Their goal is less to entertain and inspire, and more to challenge
and shock their audiences. I can only presume this is because
of their selfish arrogance and hostility toward the American
way of life. And so, less and less people bother going to their
Even a controversial director like Michael Moore
recently commented, "The
continued decrease in attendance is not because of piracy, video
games, or the Internet, it's because the movies aren't very good
Or, as I would say, "They simply don't inspire the hero
inside us like they once did." "World Trade Center" is
an exception. It is about real-life heroes in our time. I heartily
recommend you see it. CRO
Jeff Lukens writes engaging opinion columns from a fresh, conservative
point of view. He is also a Staff Writer for the New Media
Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and
grass-roots media outlets. He can be contacted through his
website at www.jefflukens.com
2006 Jeff Lukens