Directed By: Frank Darabont
Written By: Michael Sloane
This movie was added to our collection early in its making. We bought it while we were in college about ten years ago or so. At the time I remember being impressed with Jim Carrey’s performance as a serious actor. I was a history student at the time as well and I imagine the references to The Red Scare and the Blacklisted writers appealed to me on some level. However when we tried to watch this movie to review it we just couldn’t make it. About a quarter of the way through the film I admitted that I really didn’t want to finish it, to my wife’s relief. Something about the tone of the film just wasn’t meshing with our evening. It seemed just too overwhelmingly emotional in all the wrong ways. The whole experience left us with no desire to finish the film so I’m sad to say we won’t have anything more to say about it. If a fan of the film happens to be out there voice your support and maybe we will give it another go. Otherwise we are going to move on past this one and straight on to the next film.
The film is significant if for no other reason than it covers the Red Scare and how it affected things in Hollywood. It’s a good example of how out of hand things can get when a witch hunt gets started. When wicked people get into positions of power and use their abilities to do wrong. There is an obvious correlation between the Red Scare and the Salem Witch Trials. How could the women of Salem prove that they weren’t agents of the devil and capable of magic? Does it matter that magic doesn’t really exist? No of course not because during a time when the Bible was law and science was blasphemous there was reason to believe people were capable of magic. Those chickens didn’t die because it was too cold or because there was a livestock disease going around; it was because Goody so and so hexed them to get at the owner. The Bible clearly suggests that magic is a real possibility because when Moses takes His case to the Pharaoh it is all in the book. When Moses tries to convey the power of God with the “miracles” bestowed upon him by the Lord (snake, plague, and blood) the Pharaoh calls forth his sorcerers who are able to reproduce everything but turning the river to blood. This is all beside the point but the judges in Salem had pretext to consider magic a possibility and how were these women to defend themselves? How does one prove they aren’t capable of something that doesn’t exist when the men in power think it does? It was an awful chapter in our history in which many women, and some men, were executed. Even sadder is that history repeated itself during the Red Scare.
A significant part of our history in this country came down to the basic elements of Capitalism vs. Communism. Communism was seen as a threat to world order and to our own political stability in this country, and in the world. Post WWII the world was split between the US and Russia. Many conflicts brewed simply to keep communism at bay in the east. There was a theory that if one country fell to communism it would create a “domino effect” leading to many others falling as well. That is more or less why we spent so much time and effort fighting a pointless war in Vietnam. It’s why the world came to the brink of destruction during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s why a wall separated Germany into East and West for over 40 years. It’s why we had a 50 year Cold War with Russia in which both countries had their finger on a button that could destroy the world. In our own country there were radical men such as Joseph McCarthy who saw the threat of Communism coming from within. There were Communist men and women in this country who threatened the very fabric of our capitalist society. If they weren’t dealt with they would undoubtedly have turned us all into Communist in time. I’m talking about the Second Red Scare specifically, a witch hunt for Communist within our own country and it was a wide spread assault with victims everywhere. In Hollywood this led to the Hollywood 10 being blacklisted because they had links to Communism. It’s a cool story I don’t remember well enough but I know some of them went on writing under aliases while others were never able to work again. It all comes back down to the same thing that went on in Salem. How could a person prove not to be Communist anymore than one could prove not to be a witch? Anyone who had even associated with a Communist person knowingly or unknowingly was under suspicion of being part of this dangerous threat. In this film Jim Carrey is blacklisted because he attended a party thrown by Communist while he was in college. He didn’t know they were Communist and barely remembered attending the party but none of that mattered when his name was put on the list.
It was a weak movie I couldn’t get into again but that doesn’t change the fact that it touches on an interesting and alarming part of our country’s history. I would like to note that I wrote everything above simply off the top of my head without going back into any research. I claim no historical accuracy to what I have said and simply wish to let it serve as encouragement for you to look into the actual history yourself. It’s been years sent I sat down and learned these things in a history class and though I can’t remember all the specifics I remember the impression it left on me. History is far too often cast to the backseat in our educational system and it’s a shame. This example of history repeating itself with dire consequences is a perfect example of why knowledge of our past is imperative. Those that do not understand the past are doomed to make the same mistakes of the past in the future. Don’t waste your time with this movie but look into the history it covers, and understand what there is to learn from it all.
I am not even going to review this movie, for obvious reasons that Ryan probably mentioned above. Having said that, this poster is one of the best posters that I have reviewed so far.
You know that I hate when posters that try to fit every last single cast member into the poster. This is the best way that I have seen it portrayed. The image is shot in perspective and nobody is cut out and glowing! Look how amazing that is. The typography is minimal and quite pretty. Overall this is a really nice poster, but I have to give most credit to the photographer. Also, I have no idea what the movie could be about, not even the slightest clue, and furthermore, I am not even interested because there is no real allusion to anything in particular.
NEXT MOVIE: Major League (1989)