American Culture Movies

Wednesday, March 23 by Honora James

Sometimes a movie is released at just the right time for society to appreciate the subject matter and the American cultural movies choices in this article rose to the challenge. Read on and see if any of your favorites are included. 

  1. “American Graffiti” This movie depicts the American culture of teenagers in the early 1960s and chronicles the day in the life of a group of friends about to graduate from high school. After watching "American Graffiti" you will know the relevant music, dances, cars, style of dress and the pulse of the country as you watch the main characters in the movie contemplate life in the adult world.
  2. “It’s A Wonderful Life” The setting for this annual yuletide movie fare is 1940s Bedford Falls, New York. The movie delineates the stark difference between good (George Bailey) and evil (Henry F. Potter), the pain and rewards of giving up a lifelong dream, and being shown the shortsightedness of suicide by a guardian angel.
  3. “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” This American cultural movie depicts backroom politics in the 1930s and how the courageous actions of one man made a difference. When Jefferson Smith arrives in Washington, D.C. as a governor appointee to finish out the senate term of his state’s deceased U.S. senator, love for his country, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights grows to new dimensions as he determines to fight the corruption he witnesses first hand.
  4. “The Godfather” This American cultural movie gives an in depth view into the inner workings of an Italian mafia family, including culture, family, religion and how it all began for the Corleone Mafia. "The Godfather" produced two movie sequels.
  5. “Dances With Wolves” This movie depicts the culture of the Western frontier and Native Americans during the American Civil War. Lieutenant John J. Dunbar encounters an injured white woman in Native American garb and takes her back to her adopted tribe. Dunbar not only falls in love with the white woman, he also falls in love with the Native American people.
  6. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” This movie addresses the racial and cultural divide in America between blacks and whites during the 1960s when a wealthy white woman invites her black fiance home to meet her parents. What follows are the events that occur during the course of the evening.
  7. “Saturday Night Fever” This is the movie that catapulted the 1970s disco craze onto a whole new level while telling the story of accomplished disco dance champion Tony Manero. Manero has a bad family life, a dead-end job and is in an incompatible romantic relationship, but on the dance floor life is good. 
  8. “American Beauty” This movie casts an introspective eye on the lives of two families in the 1990s. The Burnhams and the Fitts families both appear to have it all from a materialistic point of view, but each character feels an emptiness that sex, money or drugs cannot fill.