New Prompt on Backlots, and Why.

As a site focusing on classic movies, I have largely tried to keep Backlots away from political matters. When I felt it necessary, I have made commentary on events that have affected us all, linking those events to classic movies and how movies are a panacea to help us get through our hard times. But up to now, that commentary has been unifying and apolitical, despite my own passion for current events.

But this morning, I would like to make a brief political note regarding a button you may have noticed at the bottom of the site.

The other day, a good friend of mine and fellow classic movie aficionado posted an astute observation to Facebook. She had noticed that the vast majority of her classic movie-loving friends, regardless of political affiliation, were vehemently opposed to the current Republican nominee for president. Not just casually brushing him off–but persistently rejecting the notion that he should ever come within 10 feet of the White House. The general nature of her feed seemed to reflect the current trends of the country, but those who knew classic movies were especially passionate. As classic movie fans come from all parts of the country, from all political, social, economic, and cultural stripes, she wondered why that phenomenon might be.

As it turns out, I have noticed the same. And many people who made comments on my friend’s post seem to have noticed the same. Thinking about why people who know classic movies might think this way, I came to the conclusion that there are indeed explanations. In addition to an awareness of historical precedents, knowing how political figures rise based on behind-the-scenes research on the movies we love, I think there is another, more chilling reason.

We’ve seen this movie before.



What were once surrealist, dystopian fantasies have become our reality. 24-hour news networks have created a modern day Howard Beale, and “Lonesome Rhodes” is now one step away from the White House. These stories were deemed unrealistic and even offensive at the time of their inception, but they now seem eerily prescient. Both of these fictional characters ended in disgrace, and given the events of the past day, it even looks as though this election cycle might end in much the same way “Lonesome Rhodes'” did. But that doesn’t mean that those of us who know these stories should sit back and relax.

I know that much of my readership is comprised of people who are familiar with classic film, history, and culture. The satirical stories of Budd Schulberg and Paddy Chayefsky have come true in a much starker way than either of them could likely have imagined, and many of us who have seen this on film have had chills running up our spines for some time.

And so I have attached a button to the bottom of the site, urging my readers to register to vote, and to actually go do it. There is far too much at stake here.

Thank you, and may we soon get back to the more pleasant side of classic movies.


9 responses to “New Prompt on Backlots, and Why.

  1. Agreed and seconded. My expatriate ballot has already been mailed to Wisconsin, a battleground state.

  2. Wonderful. Thank you on behalf of all of us who live here!

  3. I agree with your post. I’m not particularly a fan of the Republican candidate. I find it hard to believe he is the Republican candidate. But that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the Democratic one, either. Seriously wishing we had a third and better choice, with a decent chance of winning.

  4. Thanks so much for your nice comment. It’s hard to believe that all this is real.

  5. Marty freedman

    Thanks for adding your voice and insight. Marty

  6. I think you have done a very fine thing and commend you.

    As a Canadian, I sit in disbelief and not a little horror at what is occurring politically south of the border. I hope cool heads prevail and things work out. However, it appears the hornet’s nest stirred up by the boor the Republicans selected to lead them will leave a bad aftertaste for some time to come.

  7. Thank you. I think it’s going to work out. We just have to make sure that EVERYONE gets out to vote.

  8. Thank you, Marty. Hope to see you soon.

  9. maxofdimitrios

    I agree with the idea of your thoughts with the exception I’m afraid I have also a very bad taste for our democrat candidate. The two of them are such poor and illogical choices I wonder what sense we can make of our vote for one or the other. Sure wish we could start over with this debacle.

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