Friday, March 29, 2013

And Hollywood's latest bad guys are... the North Koreans!

Hollywood’s rules about foreign villains have never really changed. The studios choose bad guys from countries where they have no economic stake… or from Britain. They go to extraordinary lengths not to compromise the commercial prospects of their movies by offending audiences in the countries where they are being shown. Their sensitivity has never extended to the Brits. They realise that we will go and see their films regardless, even if an Alan Rickman or a Basil Rathbone, a Claude Rains, a George Sanders or a Jeremy Irons is cast as the latest version of the devil incarnate.

We Brits remain hardy perennials in Hollywood’s hit parade of torturers, bombers, kidnappers and general all-round troublemakers but the nationality of the other villains of choice is in a constant state of flux. The Germans had the top villainous spot for obvious reasons in the middle part of the last century. Russians in the Cold War were a reliable source of antagonists. The French – “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” as they were demonised during the dark days of George W Bush – have flitted in and out of focus. The Japanese were bad guys in the Second World War and then again in the 1980s and 1990s, when their car and electronics manufacturers were drubbing their American competitors.

With the US studios desperate to establish a foothold in the fast growing Chinese market, it is clearly a very bad idea to have too many films with heroic Rambo types taking on Red Army soldiers, opium smugglers or cyber hackers. The same applies to the Middle Eastern and North African market. India (through the Reliance Group) is already helping bankroll big American movies. Full story...

Related posts:
  1. Iran vs Hollywood: Tehran vows lawsuit against Oscar-winning Argo...
  2. "Pentagon influences Hollywood and has made Americans more war-like..."
  3. David Icke on "John Wayne America"
  4. Angelina Jolie: wolf in sheep's clothing?
  5. Hollywood and Obama...
  6. Are some Hollywood stars covert CIA operatives?
  7. North Korean film blasts western propaganda and democracy...

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