With rebels tightening their grip on Tripoli, and Muammar Gaddafi deep in hiding, we thought we’d revisit this list of five classic films that feature Libya. Don’t ever say we don’t keep up with the trends. Don’t you ever say that.
Before the recent unrest in the Middle East, most of you had probably never even heard of Libya, much less its eccentric dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. Morons. You should have been watching more movies, especially films from the 1980s and early ‘90s. The desert nation made tons of cameos during this time period. I guess you were to busy playing Atari and feathering your mullets to notice. For those of you who missed it the first time around, here are five classic films that feature Libya.
In the time-travel classic Back to the Future (as well as part III), Doc Brown builds a time machine that runs on plutonium. Where does the good doctor obtain this tightly controlled fuel source? Libyans, of course. Specifically, he cuts a deal with a group of Libyan terrorists who stole the material. They thought he was going to build them a bomb, but Doc Brown had other plans. Unfortunately for him, the Libyans caught wind of his plans and tracked him down (“I don’t know how, but they found me“). Luckily, thanks to Marty McFly’s disregard for the danger of disrupting the space-time continuum, Doc is able to avoid their vengeful wrath.
When CIA agent Jack Ryan goes up against a team of IRA terrorists, he goes to the ends of the earth to find them. In this case, the end of the earth happens to be the Libyan desert, where the Irish renegades have taken up residence at a terrorist training camp. After Ryan tracks them down, British Special Forces are sent in to liquidate the camp. Unfortunately, the intended targets had already left.
This Demi Moore vehicle tells the story of a female trying to break into the hyper-masculine world of the Navy Seals. The film’s climax involves a rescue operation in the Libyan desert and the recovery of some weapons grade plutonium. The film’s not big on realism, but if you like to watch Libyans getting shot or masculine bald chicks, you should check it out.
At the end of Top Gun, Maverick and the gang finally get a chance to put their training to good use. And by good use, I mean they get to go and drop bombs on an impoverished third-world country. But much like in real life, the bad guys in this movie had it coming. The mission was inspired by an actual mission carried out against Libya.
At the beginning of the comedy classic, The Naked Gun, detective Frank Drebin of Police Squad is deep undercover in the Mid-East exposing a plot to destroy the United States. The conspirators included almost all of America’s enemies at the time, including (you guessed it) Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Luckily, Detective Drebin took him out with a Three Stooges-Styled attack, and the fiendish plot was thwarted.
This article was originally posted on March 11th, 2011. It was updated on August 22, 2011.