That the 1980s were the most politically incorrect decade anyone knows. The truth is, the world was different – with an era that had other concepts and values, now considered outdated and no longer relevant to modern society (despite many insistence). The phrase often used at the start of this cultural revolution of political CORRECT was “the world was getting very boring”. You have to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, and identify what is exaggerated and what is in fact legitimate. An increasingly difficult task. It’s just that we think we need to grow and be better people. And that includes not offending your neighbor for any reason, especially about your appearance. Racism and homophobia have become punishable crimes, just as sexist behavior is intolerable and unjustifiable.
But that’s now, and nothing applied to the 80s. Well, to be fair, the decade contains a lot – most of it, in fact – that is undated and still going strong today. But we must not forget that it was the time of the alpha male, whether in action films where the idol was the one who beat and destroyed the most, or in comedies where the adored protagonist was on a mission to put the most women to bed. To cite just a few examples. Thus, some productions lost their grip on their plots, even if the final intention was good, and the heart of these films were messages of overcoming and transformation. The problem is the torturous path these movies have taken to get there. Here, however, no historical undoing – we are in favor of learning from the past and studying it, not erasing it, so as not to repeat its mistakes.
In this new article, I’ve decided to separate out five films considered clueless by today’s eyes, which would never be produced today, and which have aged poorly for various reasons. But the list of clueless films not only includes productions considered racist, sexist and homophobic, we also have rooster head films and other “What the Fuck” films here that we have separated for you. Check it out below and relive that difficult time in all its glory.
We started with a movie starring none other than the star Denzel Washington – now considered one of the biggest names in Hollywood and world cinema. One of the best actors in activity, Washington began his career with this comedy which marked his debut on the big screen exactly 41 years ago. See this premise and tell me what you think: the veteran George Segal plays a middle-aged white man who has everything in place in his life, which includes a good job (where his stepfather owns the business), a good marriage, a nice house, and a big car. Everything changes in the guy’s life when he discovers that he has a black son (Denzel), who suddenly appears at your doorstep, causing everything around you to crumble. The intention may even have been to criticize the racism of the time, but much of the humor is based on racial stereotypes of the supposedly big difference between black and white behavior and customs. Today there is this bitter taste in the mouth.
Speaking of black Hollywood stars, one of the biggest names still acclaimed to this day was comedian Richard Prior. A successful comedian on stage, and one of the forerunners of stand-up comedy as we have it today, before also proved to be a phenomenon in the cinema, participating in famous productions alongside Gene Wilder (his most notable duo on the big screen) and even steal the show from the superhero Man of Steel, in Superman 3 (1983). one year earlier, before (died 2005, aged 65) played in this vehicle called The toy – comedy which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2022. The film is in fact the remake of a French production of the same name (The toy in the original), from 1976.
It’s not uncommon for Hollywood to remake productions from other countries, especially if they’ve been successful, as was the case with this one. In the plot, a millionaire, in order to buy the affection of his little son, with whom he cannot connect, decides that the boy can have any toy he wants. The kid chooses an unlucky guy who was in the store at the time. And the protagonist accepts the toy because he is in great financial difficulty. Buying a human being to amuse your child is already loaded with a lot of incorrect connotation in his speech, however, the thing is even worse in the American version. It turns out that in the French original the protagonist Pierre-Richard it is white; while in Hollywood, before is a black man bought by a white family. Think about Course! (2017) treated as a light-hearted, children’s comedy.
Now we come to what is probably the most racist and tasteless film of the 80s – created unintentionally. It was meant to be a typical teen comedy of the era, where wacky plots where a young man dresses up as something he’s not overpowered and pulls it off – without thinking about the implications of such acts. Like I said, it was a different time, where you didn’t have that mentality. Thus, men dressed up as women, and beautiful girls dressed as boys without anyone suspecting it – today this would have yet other gender implications. But here, the filmmakers have gone even further, seizing on an extremely reprehensible artifice (and this is not new): the so-called black face. The term is used to define white people painting themselves black in movies or even as a fantasy – an act considered extremely racist.
To give you an idea, the act generated a huge controversy even when the black actress Zoe Saldana used the artifice and painted her skin darkening it in order to generate more similarity with the singer nina simonein the biography Nina (2016) – quickly boycotted and swept under the rug. Coming back, the distraught story of A very crazy school bring the protagonist C. Thomas Howell, as a white student who, without securing a place at his dream university, decides to apply for the black student quota. The problem is that, as said, it is white. The “genius” solution? Darken your skin with drugs and pretend to be black, of course! Here we also have all the “humor” of the film based on prejudiced racial stereotypes.
Today, it is practically unthinkable to make a comedy film entirely based on a man’s inability to perform domestic chores – once called “women’s work”. You know that long-dead maxim that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen and tending the house,” or the “beautiful, wise, and homey” joke. Well, imagine a movie about it. However, until 1983 (at least), the general public found it very funny to see a man taking care of the house and the small children while the woman goes to work. Isn’t this reversal of values hilarious? Well, back then it might have been – but today it just doesn’t make sense and we just don’t understand, looking at the screen. Even then, the woman had already sought and conquered a large part of her place in the professional world and had left home empowered. The worst thing is to think that starring in this “roguery” we have nothing but the revitalized Michael Keaton – who after a stint in comedies like this in the 1980s, played the hero Batman twice on the big screen, and resurfaced with an Oscar nomination for birdman – and highly appreciated quality projects, see projector and lust for power. The most curious thing is that the film was written by John Hughes and resurfaced as a cult.
Speaking of comedies that can be considered sexist these days, now comes to the list the one that was very successful in the afternoon sessions – and which I’m sure many people remember and love . Well, the proposal of the film is perhaps even to unmask and fight machismo, still very much in force in society – even more so at this time -, but as said at the beginning of the text, some films choose paths, let’s say, very distraught. to do it. . What catches the eye in films like this is that they usually go beyond the limits of the farce they offer, asking the audience to take a big leap of faith to buy the idea. . Look at this premise. Terry (role of Joyce Hyser) is an ambitious young woman, dreaming of a career in journalism. However, at her school, all vacancies go to men, and her teachers advise her to be a model, due to her physical appearance.
At the warning signal of “What is this mess» number 1 here. But we continued. So she comes up with a “brilliant” plan. She decides to enroll in another school, but this time dressed as a boy, with a new identity, in order to prove that she is good regardless of gender. As said, like many items on the list, the heart of the film is even in the right place, the big problem is in how everything is handled. Add to that a lot of homophobic jokes, because Terry (a unisex name) obviously falls in love with the new school boys. There’s no escaping the feeling that it’s all so wrong. in the cast, Guillaume Zabkathe Johnny of Kai Snakefresh out of the first Karate Kid, living another high school bully. The film may have been directed by a woman, but the screenplay was written by two men and their view of the world at the time.