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The ten films that right-wingers love to hate

As ‘White House Down’ continues to anger US conservatives, here are ten movies that made the establishment fume and foam at the mouth

1/10

Communist manifesto
A frog, a pig and associated fuzzy-felt freaks attempt to save an old theatre by putting on a show.

Lefties-in-chief
Decadent Hollywood types like willy-waving screenwriter and star Jason Segel and inter-species pervert Kermit the Frog.

Loony liberal agenda
Pushing anti-corporate communism to kids.

Why it oughta be banned
‘The Muppet Show’ was always a radical hotbed of hippie subversion – the original TV show was basically a bunch of brightly coloured longhairs singing psychedelic ballads about saving the earth, loving your fellow man and hugging rainbows.

So it was no great surprise when this modern-day reboot slavishly toed the Party line by depicting powerful oil baron Chris Cooper – a self-made man, a job creator and a world-class expert in maniacal laughter – as some kind of evil, money-grubbing mastermind. These pinko puppets even had the cheek to take a pop at that shining beacon of fairness and diplomacy, Fox News!

The right says
‘Liberals are trying to brainwash your kids against capitalism. It’s amazing how far the left will go to manipulate your kids, to convince them, give the anti-corporate message.’ Eric Bolling, Fox News

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Muppets’ (2011)

2/10

Communist manifesto
A group of kids go to a posh private school to learn the ancient arts of witchcraft and wizardry.

Lefties in chief
Welfare-state poster child JK Rowling and a whole slew of hoity-toity British acting talent – champagne socialists one and all.

Loony liberal agenda
Satanism for pre-teens.

Why it oughta be banned
There’s only one man who can do magic and miracles, and that’s our Lord Jesus Christ. Young Harry Potter may appear all friendly and innocent, with his goofy specs and his plucky ‘let’s get together and defeat evil’ attitude, but he is in fact an instrument of Beelzebub himself, come to brainwash America’s children into turning from the path of righteousness, flirting with the Dark Arts and – God forbid – reading books.

The right says
‘Warlocks are enemies of God. In the Old Testament, Harry Potter would’ve been put to death!’ Becky Fischer, ‘Jesus Camp’.

Read the Time Out review of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ (2011)

3/10

Communist manifesto
A millionaire playboy saves the world from hordes of unwashed rioters (hang on, that can’t be right…).

Lefties in chief
Big Hollywood insiders like director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale.

Loony liberal agenda
Bringing Mitt Romney down in the most oblique fashion imaginable.

Why it oughta be banned
As heroic radio personality Rush Limbaugh had the guts to point out, the villain’s name, Bane, is a possible reference to then presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital.

Some liberals may have pointed to the fact that the Bane character first appeared in 1993, that the entire Batman series is a tough-on-crime right-winger’s wet dream and that this movie depicts the super-rich as heroic while the poor are, on the whole, devious and troublesome. But that was all just a smokescreen.

The right says
‘Do you think that it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire breathing four-eyed whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?’ Rush Limbaugh

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012)

4/10

Communist manifesto
A battalion of IRA soldiers take on the British in rural 1920s Ireland.

Lefties in chief
That towering icon of bleeding-heart liberalism Ken Loach, plus assorted grubby-faced radicals.

Loony liberal agenda
It’s pro-IRA, and anti-British.

Why it oughta be banned
Loach’s heartfelt wartime drama suckered a lot of folks who should have known better: the Cannes jury awarded it the Palme d’Or, it was the biggest Irish movie of all time (briefly) and pretty much every reviewer – including, astonishingly, the Daily Telegraph – gave it a glowing write-up. It was left to a plucky band of naysayers to fight the good fight and defend our national pride. Before you ask, yes, one of them did write for the Daily Mail.

The right says
‘A poisonously anti-British corruption of the history of the war of Irish independence...“The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is not just wrong. It infantilises its subject matter and reawakens ancient feuds.’ Tim Luckhurst, The Times

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’ (2006)

5/10

Communist manifesto
A groovy LA hepcat drops acid and wanders the Sunset Strip meeting crazy freaks and picking up swinging chicks.

Lefties in chief
Counterculture mavericks Roger Corman, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

Loony liberal agenda
Drugs are fun, and might not kill you!

Why it oughta be banned
Here in the UK, this 1967 film was indeed banned – until 2002, by which time the British Board of Film Classification must have felt that the risk of kids seeing this film and wanting to drop acid, groove to psychedelic rock and wear paisley shirts had probably passed. More fool them! It’s lucky this film isn’t available to watch in its entirety on YouTube, or we’d soon have another lost generation on our hands. What’s that you say? Oh.

The right says
‘In our opinion it might well tempt certain young people to experiment with the drug. By a coincidence only last week two young men were found wandering about a Folkestone beach, naked and out of their minds, having taken LSD. Something much more serious could have happened to them. So we decided not to lift the ban on this film.’ BBFC examiner, 1971

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Trip’ (1967)

6/10

Communist manifesto
Following a car wreck, a yuppie couple become sexually aroused by auto accidents.

Lefties in chief
Pervy sci-fi writer JG Ballard and sex ’n’ death fiend David Cronenberg.

Loony liberal agenda
To encourage depravity among the moviegoing classes.

Why it oughta be banned
It very nearly was, as ‘Crash’ sparked the most ferocious censorship debate in this country since the heyday of Ken Russell. In the red corner, the righteous attack dogs of the Daily Mail, who began a campaign to boycott distributors Sony and get the film removed from cinemas, and ended up convincing at least one Tory council – Westminster – to ban it. In the blue corner, some people who actually watched the film.

The right says
‘Some of the most perverted acts and theories of sexual deviance I have ever seen propagated in mainline cinema.’ Alexander Walker, The Evening Standard

Read the Time Out review of ‘Crash’ (1996)

7/10

Communist manifesto
Two rugged young sheepherders spend grazing season on the titular peak and end up more than just chums.

Lefties in chief
Hollywood pinko-homo sympathisers like director Ang Lee and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger.

Loony liberal agenda
To push the idea that homosexuality might not end civilisation as we know it.

Why it oughta be banned
First they got the bars, then they got the marches, but with ‘Brokeback Mountain’ the gay community crossed a line: they were coming for our movie stars. If the tough-guy heroes of a soaring, tear-jerking romantic tragedy with mad Oscar potential and masterpiece written all over it can come out of the closet, what’s next? Marriage?

The right says
‘Hollywood may want to give every Oscar it can find to the first gay cowboy movie. But I think most people do not want to go into a darkened room with a tub of popcorn and munch away watching two guys get it on.’ John Gibson, Fox News

Read the Time Out review of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005)

8/10

Communist manifesto
Jewish revolutionary J Christ romps about the Holy Land getting into scrapes.

Lefties in chief
Controversy-hungry heathens like Catholic director Martin Scorsese and Calvinist screenwriter Paul Schrader.

Loony liberal agenda
To make Our Lord seems like a vaguely normal, decent guy.

Why it oughta be banned
Because we don’t want our Gods to be human, we want them to be remote, offhand and terrifying. If Jesus was just an average dude – albeit one with mystical powers, zany visions and a superhuman capacity for love and forgiveness – how are we supposed to feel appropriately unworthy and humble before him?

Scorsese’s film galvanised the Christian right, provoking pickets, protests and acres of self-righteous newsprint. That said, most believers stopped short of firebombing a cinema, as one group of French nutbags did.

The right says
‘This movie mauls and maligns the Messiah just as unbelievers did 2,000 years ago.’ Ron Halbrook, Truth Magazine

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ (1988)

9/10

Communist manifesto
On the eve of high-school racial integration, a white supremacist comes to a small Southern town in the early 1960s to whip up the populace.

Lefties in chief
Censorship-baiting director Roger Corman and one half of TV’s first interracial kiss, ‘Star Trek’ star William Shatner.

Loony liberal agenda
Anti-racist, anti-KKK and anti-segregation sentiment – before it was cool.

Why it oughta be banned
The ’60s civil rights movement was barely off the blocks when indie filmmaker Roger Corman headed to America’s Deep South in 1961 to film this groundbreaking study of small-town hate. But when the residents of one remote Missouri town got wind of the filmmakers’ intentions, Corman and crew were run right out of town. Neighbourhood watch had a whole different meaning in those days.

The right says
‘Get yer filthy Communist city-boy asses out of our gosh-durn town!’ A Missouri townsperson in 1961, probably

Read the Time Out review of ‘The Intruder’ (1962)

10/10

Communist manifesto
An American ambassador travels to the Russian capital in the early 1940s and has a jolly old time with his nation’s newest allies.

Lefties in chief
Blacklisted screenwriter Howard Koch, ‘Casablanca’ director Michael Curtiz and Commie-in-a-very-good-disguise Franklin D Roosevelt (allegedly).

Loony liberal agenda
To promote understanding between the US and wartime allies the Russians.

Why it oughta be banned
One of three films named by the postwar House Committee on Un-American Activities as an egregious example of Hollywood’s pro-Commie leanings, ‘Mission to Moscow’ was made at the height of WWII, and some sources claim that President Roosevelt himself actively encouraged its production. No matter, because as soon as the war ended those shifty Commies were up to their old tricks, and pretty much everyone involved in the film was branded a traitor. Stitch that, Ivan!

The right says
‘Unquestionably the most blatant piece of pro-Stalinist propaganda ever offered by the American mass media.’ Richard Schickel and George Perry, ‘You Must Remember This’

Read the Time Out review of ‘Mission to Moscow’ (1943)


This summer, blockbuster action movie ‘White House Down’ became the latest film to draw fire from America’s conservative cultural commentators. ‘If you spend one damn cent on this crap, you’re spitting on our troops!’ ranted right-wing blogger Kurt Schlichter, while others rushed to condemn the film’s alleged pro-Obama stance.

As the film arrives in British cinemas, we rifle through the archives and dig up a few more classic flicks that have – intentionally or otherwise – sparked righteous anger both at home and abroad.

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