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The 3 Most Poisonous Movie Clichés of the 60s and 70s

Movies alter our attitudes and behaviors, often for the worse. These staples perfected by Baby Boomer filmmakers have polluted the cultural ground water for decades.

Kathy Shaidle


August 15, 2012 - 7:00 am
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Ed Driscoll and I had fun last week with my brainwave about the preposterously-named Adam Smith’s freakish drive-by harassment of a (preternaturally Zen) Chick-Fil-A employee.

I was struck by the incident’s similarity to the famous “diner” scene in Five Easy Pieces (1970), right down to the “chicken”:

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Ed quoted a film critic who held up that scene “as the point where American movies began to celebrate gratuitous anger.”

Anyone who’s watched other drivers careen out of the parking lot after the latest Fast & Furious movie has to admit that films affect our behavior; that cinematic ideas and attitudes trickle into the cultural water table, and sometimes pollute it.

To take one trivial instance: I’ve written before about the influence all those 1970s “Satanic children” flicks had on my decision not to have kids.

Three other movie tropes from that era impacted audiences in ways that continue today.

(Language and content warning:)

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