The Road Movie Book

By Steven Cohan; Ina Rae Hark | Go to book overview
Save to active project

3

MAD LOVE, MOBILE HOMES, AND DYSFUNCTIONAL DICKS

On the road with Bonnie and Clyde

Ian Leong, Mike Sell, and Kelly Thomas

Natural Born Killers (1994) boasts a body count - twelve and climbing - linking it to more copycat killings than any other film. Two years after its debut, the film was still making headlines via the lawsuit filed by attorney-turned-Hollywood-player John Grisham against Oliver Stone for product liability in connection with the murder of a cotton-gin worker from Hernando, Mississippi. 1 Grisham's suit is just one component of a larger conservative mobilization against what Presidential candidate Robert Dole has called the “mainstreaming of deviancy” by the Hollywood culture industry. Dole's May, 1995, address to Los Angeles Republicans and Hollywood bigwigs seemed to recognize the interrelated tensions of violence, mass culture, and the crisis of “family values” - and specifically took aim at two postmodern variants on the familiar theme of young, tragic love in “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde.” 2 On the first leg of a tour whose goal was the congealing of an increasingly fractured Republican constituency, Dole exhorted his audience to retool the culture industry and return to the “Combining-Good-Citizenship-with-Good-Picture-Making” days when the Disney studios daubed their merry little toy-citizens on the noses of B-52's and Warner Bros, beefed up public confidence in the police. “Ours is not a crusade for censorship, Dole comforted us, “it is a call for good citizenship.”

Good citizenship is certainly lacking in the two films Dole specifically targeted, True Romance (1993) and Natural Born Killers. But there is an irony to Dole's attack. Dole endorsed the moral rectitude of The Lion King (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), and fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger's ultra-violent revision of hightech patriarchy, True Lies (1994), even as he demanded an interdiction of “mindless violence and loveless sex.” Dole's choice of films suggests that violence in defense of the nation and the nuclear family is not only appropriate but good family fun. Indeed, it seems that Dole singled out True Romance and Natural Born Killers for criticism because they posit heterosexual desire as anti-family, crime and

-70-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Road Movie Book
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 379

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?