Film Buffs: Need help for research paper

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I have taken on a specific motif from film, and plan to write a paper about it- but I'm having trouble finidng enough films which encorporate this type of plot.

    Essentially the idea is:

    Character pretends to be a minority and discovers prejudice (or pretends to be a minority in order to discover prejudice).

    I have two films so far:

    Gentlemen's Agreement (Phil Green pretends to be Jewish to write about anti-semetism in the paper)

    Tootsie (Michael Dorsey pretends to be a woman to get an acting job).

    I was thinking "Some like it hot" or "Mrs. Doubtfire" are also options- although I haven't seen Some like It Hot, and don't know if there is much of a content of prejudice against women. Mrs. Doubtfire doesn't have much at all.

    Any thoughts?

    -V
     
  2. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    How about Soul Man? (White guy pretends to be black in order to get scholarship into Harvard) I don't think it's a very good movie though.
    I beleive it's out on DVD. Here's a review on The Onion's AV Club (scroll down)
    http://www.theonionavclub.com/avclub3812/video3812.html
     
  3. Dennis Heller

    Dennis Heller Second Unit

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    Soul Man, baby! C. Thomas in the house!

    Actually, the movie Focus with William H. Macy. Based on an Arthur Miller play. Post-WWII New York. He buys a pair of glasses that make him "look Jewish" and encounters the prejudice that goes along with it. He doesn't pretend on purpose, though. Not the best movie ever, but good.
     
  4. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Vince, there is also Just One Of The Guys in which a woman poses as a boy because she feels she has been discriminated against.
    It's actually a not-bad 80's teen comedy.
    You might also try Yentl with Barbara Streisand. I don't think I could sit through it, but maybe you are the stronger man.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    A very bad 80s film, but it fits your theme: Soul Man, in which C. Thomas Howell disguises himself as African-American so that he can qualify for a scholarship. (I see that, while I was mulling this over, others beat me to the punch.)

    You might also want to look at Blake Edwards' Switch with Ellen Barkin. It's another gender-switching comedy, distinguished mostly by Barkin's performance.

    In general, I suspect you'll find much more material involving gender changes than anything else. It's a comic tradition that goes back at least to Shakespeare. (Occasionally it turns up as tragedy, as in Boys Don't Cry.)

    M.
     
  6. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

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    There is also "Finian's Rainbow" in which the bigoted white landowner is turned black by one of the three wishes associated with the buried gold. At least that happens in the original stage play; I'm not sure if they kept it in the movie. I also have a dim memory of a movie from the early 70's in which a black man ( I want to say Redd Foxx) wakes up to find he is white.

    The granddaddy (or mother) of them all is "Imitation of Life", Douglas Sirk's melodrama of a mother trying to "pass" her daughter as white. A great movie that need to be a DVD.
     
  7. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    How about the recent, excellent Gosford Park, which has a sublot wherein Ryan Phillippe's character, a "classless" American, pretends to be a servant in an English household - and there's the other side too, him trying to fit in with the upper class hosts...
     
  8. Ruth_F

    Ruth_F Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the 1970 Mario Van Peebles movie, "Watermelon Man"? Not sure if this qualifies because he wasn't "pretending" to be a black man, he woke up one day and discovered that he had somehow become a black man.
     
  9. Ruth_F

    Ruth_F Stunt Coordinator

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    sorry don't know why post came through in such a large font....I'll try to figure out what I've done wrong in setting up my account.
    [Moderator's note: Ruth, I set these two messages back to the default font. If you're having trouble setting the font size in your profile, please send me an email ([email protected]), and I'll see what I can do.
    Michael Reuben
    HTF Administration]
     
  10. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Ture Identity definitely comes to mind. You also might want to consider White Man's Burden, which is a whole switch of society.
     
  11. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Also, what about the first story of Twilight Zone : The Movie? Seems to fit the bill.
     
  12. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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    What about in terms of wealth? Trading Places anyone? [​IMG]
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned 1964's "Black like Me" yet. That and "Gentlemen's Agreement" are ususally the first films mentioned when discussing the "prejudice undercover" sub-genre. Plus, the book and film inspired Eddie Murphy's hilarious "White Like Me" parody on Saturday Night Live. [​IMG]
    Arguably, Sam Fuller's "Shock Corridor", where a reporter goes undercover as a man in need of treatment at a psychiatric hospital could be thrown in, but it may be a bit of a stretch.
    Regards,
     
  14. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    How about Sorority Boys? I haven't seen this; it may not deal with the discrimination issue. WHo knows? I just loved the "addicted to porn" line in the trailer.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Vince-
    After reading your initial post, a handful of titles flooded into my mind.
    Then everyone else stole them! [​IMG]
    You should post your finished article here when you're done. I'd love to read it!
     
  16. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Another film dealing with a hidden "minority" status is Brendan Fraiser's "School Ties" http://us.imdb.com/Title?0105327. Mid 20th Century Ivy League school; Fraiser plays a Jew who hides his religion from his school mates for fear of persecution ... a fear later evidenced by the actions of his fellow students when they learn of his 'difference' from them.
    FWIW.
     
  17. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    How about City Lights and The Great Dictator?
     
  18. Shane Gralaw

    Shane Gralaw Second Unit

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    And the recent French film "The Closet" about a not-really gay man.
     
  19. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not a film, but it would be criminal to write a paper on this subject and not touch on the Saturday Night Live sketch with Eddie Murphy as a white guy -- Mr. White, I believe [​IMG]
     
  20. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Dave,

    That's the sketch I was talking about that parodied "Black Like Me" as "White Like Me."

    Regards,
     

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