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Values Dissonance / Live-Action Films

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Values Dissonance in live-action movies.


  • The 1999 Western Ride with the Devil starring Tobey Maguire, was destroyed at the box office thanks to Values Dissonance. The movie portrays an African American fighting on the side of southern guerrillas in the Kansas border skirmishes of the Civil War. Although the character had a historically factual precedent, the idea of a black soldier fighting for the Confederacy, an institution widely associated with white supremacy, was so repugnant that the film was delayed, promotional materials were destroyed, and the release was severely limited (in the actual Confederacy most of the black soldiers were slaves forced into service by their masters though, so it's not as if they were all willing anyway). Even in the film, the character possibly only goes with them because he feels grateful for George freeing him, and suffers from constant racism by the white fighters.
  • The Breakfast Club:
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    • Brian brings a flare gun to school so he can commit suicide (or at least destroy a shop project at which he failed). His punishment is a Saturday of detention when it goes off in his locker. In today's zero-tolerance environment, he likely would have been expelled and/or slapped with court-ordered psychiatric therapy for the rest of the school year (and maybe beyond that if he decides to go to college or the military).
    • Both Bender and Andy use the word "fag/faggot" without being punished or reprimanded for it. Today, the word is seen as a slur almost on par with the N-word, but in The '80s, the term would essentially be seen as just another swear and doesn't imply that either of them was gay-bashers.
    • There is a relatively minor case regarding the fact that Claire brought sushi for lunch, which serves as a symbol of how wealthy and elitist her family is. Back in the '80s, sushi was a far more exotic and expensive dish, but over the years it's become more affordable and gained mainstream popularity. Granted, as a school lunch it's still out of the ordinary, but not quite to the extent that it was at the time, the film was released.
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    • Bender's advances on Claire were to show off his jerkass nature, but he eventually gets the girl in the end. Today, such actions would earn the ire of some modern audience members, who would claim it is trivializing sexual harassment.
  • Heathers, a film about teens that actually do kill each other, would have a hard time getting greenlit after Columbine and in our 24/7 media age, especially as a comedy. However, even by 1980s standards, it's hard to believe a student firing a revolver at another pair of students while in the school cafeteria wouldn't be looking at an expulsion. Hell, they'd be more than expelled, they could be charged with assault in a criminal court, or sued for it in a civil court. The movie suggests he was merely suspended because they were blanks.note 
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  • The China Syndrome: Jane Fonda plays a puff-piece reporter who, while doing a puff piece on a nearby nuclear plant, witnesses a near-meltdown of the plant. At a cocktail party soon after the events, she asks the news director to let her do more hard news stories. The director condescendingly replies that she was hired for her looks and her body and not any reporting ability. Nowadays, that would probably get the director fired and justify a huge lawsuit.
  • Going way back, The Birth of a Nation (and by extension, the novel it was based on, The Clansman by Thomas Dixon) features the Ku Klux Klan as the good guys, complete with a Big Damn Heroes moment towards the end of the story. Although denounced by the NAACP even at the time, this film went on to be so influential that for decades, the director had an honorary award named after him at the Oscars. The film is now rarely seen outside of film classes thanks to Values Dissonance making it unwatchable to anyone except a film student learning the state of the art in 1915.
  • Agnes' fate at the end of Auntie Mame definitely qualifies for this trope. She finds herself impregnated and accidentally married to a sexual predator who got her drunk and led her to the altar because he thought she was a rich noblewoman. This is supposed to be a happy ending because it means that she's not, as she gravely feared, an unwed mother. It is worth noting that in a later, musical version of the play, this part was changed. Instead of being married to the guy who knocked her up, Agnes is sent to live in a home for unwed mothers... that was founded and set up by Aunt Mame herself, specifically to help Agnes (and to tick off the snooty rich family whose property was next door to the future site of the home). In the original book, she falls in love with one of Patrick's college professors, a genuinely good man who reciprocates her love and proposes to her as she's being rushed to the hospital in labor. It's implied that they wind up happily married.
  • James Bond:
    • A lot of the Sean Connery Bond movies suffer from this, including Sex–Face Turn, really Disposable Women, and Slap-Slap-Kiss. This dissonance was increased in The Man with the Golden Gun when Roger Moore tries to slap around a woman. They are still toned down from what exists in the books. You only have to read a few other British thrillers of the early 20th Century (something by Dennis Wheatley, say) to realize that Ian Fleming was quite liberal for his time.
    • There are quite a few ethnic stereotypes as well. Even Dr. No, which was fairly advanced for its day in its portrayal of a black man, has a scene where Bond asks Quarrel (who is black) to "fetch my shoes," in a rather presumptuous and condescending manner. In Goldfinger, Goldfinger himself tells Bond that Koreans are the "cruelest people in the world" and are thus perfect for being evil minions. He could be referring to the Communist North Koreans, given the time period in which this story was written, but the ambiguity and generalization of his statement is what really dates it. This is a decided improvement on the book, where Bond and the narrator not only agree with Goldfinger, Bond muses to himself that he thinks Koreans are so savage they must be an entirely different species.
    • Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz discusses his dismay at a 2012 audience's comedic reaction to a screening From Russia with Love, due to the 1963 film's social mores and retro sexuality, arguing that the film needs to be taken in the context it was intended. As a counterpoint, writer John Perch argues the audience's laughter and incredulity was a perfectly natural response, stating basically that society had marched on and to attempt to view the movie as someone from 1963 might have is, essentially, role-playing rather than the genuine moviegoing experience someone from 1963 would have had.
    • Another infamous scene in Goldfinger features Bond forcing a kiss onto henchwoman Pussy Galore, who'd been rebuffing his seduction attempts up to that point. Instead of being disgusted and pushing him away, she immediately reciprocates, has sex with him, and turns good. This scene is often criticized as an advocation of the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization, but it wasn't seen that way at the time.
    • While avoiding the Yellow Peril stereotypes still common at the time, You Only Live Twice has a curious example of this: The Japanese are quite amused at Bond's penchant for drinking and smoking, two things that became more commonplace in Japan after the 1960s while decreasing among Westerners. The scene with Bond disguised as a Japanese and the remark that "In Japan, men come first and women come second" might not sit well with modern viewers.
    • The scene in Live and Let Die where Bond tricks Solitaire into sleeping with him is pretty uncomfortable by modern standards, doubly so because she's one of the few women Bond's bedded to be clearly unhappy afterward (though not because she didn't enjoy the sex, but because she was afraid the Big Bad would kill her for it).
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: The whole idea of MI:6 that Scaramanga was hideously wrong to upend the World's polluting fossil fuel economy by offering to sell clean, efficient solar power is viewed by many today as completely ridiculous and outdated. Solar power is now not only cheaper to produce and maintain than coal, oil, or natural gas, but is seen by a growing number of people as the future of human energy production. Fossil fuels, meanwhile, are often considered dirty, dangerous, environmentally destructive, and outdated. This makes Bond, in the eyes of some viewers, an Unwitting Pawn of the oil industry and big money, and makes Scaramanga an unintentional environmental crusader. Except for that solar-based ray gun, Scaramanga uses to detonate Bond's small plane, and Scaramanga's motive for selling the energy.
  • In The Philadelphia Story
    • Spoiled heiress Tracy Lord is given a major set-down by her father... who cheated on her mother and blames it on Tracy's lack of affection for him. Yes, he effectively tells Tracy her parents' divorce was her fault. And she thanks him for the smackdown in the end.
    • At the beginning of the movie, C. K. Dexter Haven (played by Cary Grant) angrily throws Tracy Lord to the ground. At the time, this was probably considered amusing. Now, not so much. Even worse, is that Haven was drawing his fist back, clearing intending to hit her, until he changes his mind. The scene is only watchable today due to him not doing so (Lord's obnoxiously smug grin, especially once the movie shows just how much of a brat she is, also helps take at least some of the sting out of it).
  • In the 1968 film Yours, Mine, and Ours, with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, generally considered a G-rated, family values classic, there are several "Wait... what?" moments. Part of the children's attempts to sabotage the budding relationship includes trying to get their potential stepmother drunk by spiking her drink—although they're called out for this, it's still uncomfortable. One of the boys is later punished with a prolonged spanking from the lady, something that wouldn't fly today.
  • The original Pink Panther films run into this with how Inspector Clouseau speaks of his Chinese manservant, e.g., "Cato, my little yellow friend, I'm home!" (On the other hand, Clouseau is portrayed as an arrogant idiot with (among others) Mighty Whitey delusions, so this ignorance may well stem from that). This is what probably inspired a scene from 2009's The Pink Panther 2 where Clouseau gets in trouble for calling a Japanese man "my little yellow friend".
  • In the classic screwball romantic comedy It Happened One Night, Peter Fallow confronts Ellie Andrews' millionaire father, telling him that what his daughter needs most is "a guy that'd take a sock at her once a day, whether it's coming to her or not.". Since the father has previously taken a sock at his daughter himself, he recognizes this as the voice of true love.
  • The Jazz Singer features a hero who must escape the confines of his conservative Jewish father to realize his own dream of self-expression... by performing in blackface. The 1980 remake with Neil Diamond in the lead role homaged the older film with an early scene in which he dons Blackface as a disguise; critics were not amused.
  • The Japanese film The Homeless Student invokes this with its own Aesop at the end. The neglectful father abandons his children after they're thrown out of their apartment because he had been gambling and hadn't paid the bills. It's presented as a lighthearted "keep up the Masquerade" comedy when the main character, a teenage boy, is reduced to living in a park, but there's little that's lighthearted about his situation. He's starved, rained-on, scrabbles for change under vending machines, stoned by little children and eventually becomes so hungry he eats grass, and then cardboard. His younger sister is nearly molested. At the end of the film, he thanks his father because he realizes he was trying to teach him a lesson in living independently, and that his mother stunted his growth as a person by giving him too much attention.
  • Similar to the Dan Fogelberg example listed at the Music page, and also from 1981, was the movie Arthur, which played the title character's alcoholism and resultant drunken behavior for laughs; he is even seen drinking while driving at one point. The movie was rated PG, as the PG-13 rating didn't exist until three years after its release; the MPAA's current restrictions on drug content would net it a higher rating now. Not only did the 2011 Russell Brand-led remake get a PG-13, his binge drinking was more Played for Drama (as in a scene where his nanny Hobson speaks for him at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting he's not taking seriously).
  • The whole idea of the Cowboy Cop, omnipresent in cop movies of the 1970's and 1980's has come under fire since the late 90s and 2000's. Back in the 70's, rising crime rates and then the "tough on crime" rhetoric of the Reagan era in the 80's made actions like beating up suspects for information, executing helpless criminals if they were evil enough, disregard for warrants, and all around tons of violence seem not just acceptable for police officers and displays of their badassitude, but necessary for combating crime. This ended after a string of high-profile incidents of Police Brutality and shootings of unarmed suspects, most infamously the Rodney King beating and several notable instances in the mid-2010s, which also revealed these actions targeted racial minorities, especially African-Americans, disproportionately. As a result, characters like Dirty Harry and Cobra come across as a lot less sympathetic nowadays. Lower crime rates beginning in the mid-90's also led to the demise of the "vigilante hero" and "future big city in ruins" subgenres extremely popular in the late 70's to early 90's. In a pretty good illustration of just how far this trope has fallen out of favor with modern audiences, when Eli Roth attempted to reboot the once-popular Death Wish franchise in 2018, it flopped at the box office and was absolutely savaged by critics, many of whom called it a wildly irresponsible piece of filmmaking.
  • The Three Stooges short The Yoke's On Me features them hunting Japanese-American escapees from a relocation center. The characterizations are about as stereotypical and offensive as they come, but quite a par for the course in WWII era films.
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's:
    • The film features Mickey Rooney as the wacky Japanese neighbor Mr. Yunioshi, complete with yellowface, buck teeth and thick glasses that look like they were lifted directly from a WWII propaganda poster. At the time, this was acceptable comic relief. The original author Truman Capote slammed this, finding it offensive at the time too. Mickey Rooney apparently didn't see what the problem was.
    • Lula Mae's marriage to a middle-aged man when she was only fourteen. While it's implied to have been a chaste one and annulled pretty quickly, there's no way he would have been played sympathetically today.
  • The ending of McLintock! shows that the main character turning his wife over his knee and spanking her has had a positive effect on their marriage, though admittedly up to that point she'd been a bit of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • The Depression-era film Gabriel Over the White House shows the President of the United States essentially setting himself up as a fascist dictator, suspending the Constitution and dissolving Congress when they try to oppose him, creating a paramilitary police force with extra-judicial powers accountable only to him and forcing all other nations to unilaterally disarm and submit to American rule using the threat of superweapons. This is depicted as a good and possibly even divinely-inspired thing, and his totalitarian policies are shown to end crime, introduce huge economic booms, and create world peace. To be fair, the film was controversial even at the time, but its unabashed praise for what would be The Empire in any other story is shocking to modern audiences. It's a sign of the desperate time it was made in more than anything else, when there were some calling for a dictatorial president to seize power and resolve the crippling economic issues and organized crime ravaging the country. Which is a disturbingly similar situation to the state of Germany after World War One...
  • In the Shirley Temple film Bright Eyes, to cap off the final scene, a bratty girl named Joy (who had been mean to Shirley Temple throughout the film) is slapped in the face by her mother. This happens in a courtroom in front of a judge. While completely acceptable at the time, slapping a child in the face in public would not likely be seen as a positive thing today.
  • In the film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, McMurphy's crime is sleeping with a fifteen-year-old, which is treated with the same weight as the fights he gets into… which it was, in the 1970s. The modern Pedo Hunt makes the audience lose a lot of sympathy for him right off the bat.
  • Live Wire, a 1992 action film, includes a scene where main character and explosives expert Danny O'Neill creates a homemade bomb out of household chemicals, clearly demonstrating exactly how to do so and what raw materials are needed! Good luck making that post-9/11.
  • My Baby Is Black. The title of the movie and the fact that it is treated as something unbelievably horrible by the narrator says it all. You'd almost think that the trailer was a joke. The movie actually portrays the interracial couple sympathetically and is against racism. Granted the trailer doesn't do a very good job of showing that.
  • In an example that might combine this with Deliberate Values Dissonance is the older Albert Finney film Gumshoe. Finney's character acts as if he lives in a Hardboiled Detective story, and he makes a habit of calling the Scary Black Man things like a "spade" or "Mighty Joe Young". While these slurs can be partly attributed to the whole "1930s detective attitude", the film doesn't really seem to treat the protagonist as racist. On the other hand, a modern audience is likely to applaud when he gets sucker-punched by the Scary Black Man for one of these comments.
  • In Casablanca, Ilsa refers to Sam, the middle-aged black pianist in Rick's club, as a "boy", a common mild racial slur at the time. The film is also infamous for Ilsa not ending up with Rick, despite him being her true love. This is simply because Victor was her husband and in the 1940s, that trumped anything else.
  • In the Soviet Union Blackface and Yellowface were not considered racist, and because of that, there were more than a few movies with anti-racist messages that had oppressed Black or Asian people played by white Soviet actors. For example, Soviet adaptations of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn stressed the racism and evils of slavery, yet nearly all of them had Jim played by a man in blackface. Of course actual black people were hard to come by in the Soviet Union, so this at least would have been basic pragmatism.
  • In Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, Commandant Lassard is greeted by a Russian Commandant, who kisses him three times on the face, perfectly acceptable in most European countries. North Americans, on the other hand, are creeped out by it (including Lassard).
  • Gone with the Wind:
    • The book and film present the end of the pre-Civil War era as something to be mourned, giving a very Rose-Tinted Narrative of slavery, attitudes that widely became taboo post-Civil Rights movement.
      • This is most egregious during the scene where Scarlett walks through Reconstruction Atlanta, passing freed slaves and carpetbaggers promising them 40 acres and a mule. It's clear from the stiff upper lip she's keeping that this is supposed to be a humiliating experience for not just her, but any Southerner. Today it's easy to see that as yet more Lost Cause mythmaking.
    • Scarlett suffers marital rape at the hands of Rhett late in the film, and it's presented as a good thing for their marriage. Scarlett also gives a "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization. The rise of feminism later in the century led to increasingly negative attitudes towards rape.
    • Interestingly, the rise of feminism also led to one inversion of the trope related to GWTW. Some more traditional women criticized the film on its release because it depicted Scarlett as having taken the initiative to save Tara instead of just getting right to marrying Rhett and letting him take care of things like a proper Southern belle. Nowadays audiences think nothing of it — some might even find it admirable.
    • The character Prissy is a shockingly racist caricature - with her high pitched voice, laziness, and general incompetence. Narrowly averted with Mammy—who is highly intelligent in spite of her position, representing a case of Fair for Its Day.
  • The central storyline of 1971 film of On the Buses is that the bus company hires female drivers and the male drivers deliberately disrupt their work and make their lives a misery. What makes this questionable is that the male drivers are shown as likable heroes and the women as harpies who deserve to get fired. The unattractive appearance of the women who do traditionally male jobs probably wouldn't happen today either. The film also shows men groping women without their permission but the women finding this humorous rather than being upset or offended by it.
  • Carry On:
    • Many of the films showed men groping women without their consent, and the women often getting positive reactions from it.
    • British media in the 1970s was known for having a lot of negative situations with characters that were played for laughs. Staying with the Carry On series, in Carry On Matron, the son of a gangster is ordered to disguise as a nurse in order to steal drugs from a hospital, and he attracts the attention of a perverted womanizing doctor, who drags him into a room and tries to rape him, pointing out that there's no need to defend himself because he's a trained boxer; even if the nurse was female all along, the scene would probably be played out the same way.
  • In the 1950s classic The Dam Busters, the code for a successful hit on the target is the name of the squadron commander's beloved black labrador, who was struck and killed by a motorcar right before the strike was launched. The dog's name? Nigger. This issue was complicated by the fact that the historical dog had that name in real life. It's sometimes, and sometimes not, dubbed on television showings into Trigger. There was a certain amount of "it's PC gone mad" controversy when news of a remake did the rounds in 2009; the producers were planning to call the dog "Nigsy" instead. The remake's still being talked about, and the latest news is that they intend to call him "Digger".
    • Roger Waters has said he now cringes at having included these scenes from the film, with the dog's name clearly audible, in the 1982 film adaptation of The Wall.
  • In the Stephen Chow film King Of Comedy (1999), one of the running gags is that one of the neighborhood's little boys runs around naked all the time. This is creepy enough to an American audience, but there's one scene where Stephen's character stops what he's doing to play with the boy. A guy who was imitating Stephen's cues while confronting a gangster looks back to see him tickle the boy's penis with a stick and again to see him flick it with his finger ...and then copies both acts. Imagine trying to film that in the States.
  • What's New Pussycat? is a cheeky ribald romp from the newly-unfettered 1960s — its intent was to be outrageous, and it perhaps got more so with time. It features a quick flashback to a teacher-student affair ("Oh, Michael, this can't work—I'm 34 and you're 12!" Having star Peter O'Toole in schoolboy drag makes it less creepy—or maybe more so), a crazy psychiatrist who sexually assaults a patient repeatedly, and an unstable exotic dancer (named Liz Bien—get it?) who tries committing suicide a few times.
  • In Babes in Toyland, the toys featured in the 1934 film version of the Victor Herbert operetta starring Laurel and Hardy would not pass government safety regulations (or most parents' standards) today: steel-tipped darts launched by a catapult, anyone?
  • In Miracle on 34th Street, everyone is perfectly fine with a little girl being left in the care of the dashing stranger across the hall. To be fair the housekeeper was keeping an eye on them through the windows. The 1994 remake elevated him to the level of Doris's longtime boyfriend who presumably already had a ring in his back pocket.
  • In The Wild World of Batwoman, the titular heroine initiates a seance in an attempt to find the movie's villain, only to get interrupted by a stereotypical Chinese spirit, complete with "Ching-chang"-type speak. When it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike and the Bots are horribly offended and Mike actually apologizes for the scene after it ends.
    Batwoman "I have to inform you that no-one here is familiar with Oriental languages."
    Tom Servo "Hey, that's Asian languages, sister."
  • MST3K ran headlong into another example with the short "Catching Trouble", a 1936 documentary about a hunter who catches animals for zoos. The narration makes it clear that he's a man among men who bends nature to his will; Joel and the Bots, however, just see a cruel bully harassing innocent animals, and cheer for the animals to escape. And that's not even getting into his "loyal Seminole" sidekick...
  • Thelma & Louise - the two women fleeing the crime scene because there was no evidence to suggest Harlan was raping Thelma? Not likely to happen today where rape allegations are taken much more seriously.
  • The 1968 British film If ends with the main characters undertaking (perhaps only in their minds) a School Shooting, which is portrayed as heroic and revolutionary.
  • The Happy Ending of His Majesty O'Keefe sees the protagonist, a former Evil Colonialist whose machinations got dozens of people killed and nearly destroyed the island of Yap, having a Heel Realization and telling the island's natives to go their own way. Instead, they choose to keep him on as a king, plus he gets the girl.
  • The Children's Hour:
    • The plot is about a schoolhouse run by two women being shut down over the flimsiest of insinuations that they are lesbians. They also lose a libel lawsuit even though there's no evidence of the rumor's validity. The play is from the '30s (and it is based on a real incident from a century prior) and the film is from 1960. The plot wouldn't work in films set post-1970s, with the modern gay rights movement beginning a few years after the film came out.
    • The 1930s adaptation, These Three, removes the lesbian themes of the story. In its place, we have a huge public scandal because a little girl (supposedly) caught Martha cheating with Karen's fiance. They even get sent to court for it. The accusations of infidelity and pre-marital sex were more serious in The '30s but in modern times, or even the '60s (where the Truer to the Text adaptation was made), it would be considered a smaller, more personal issue.
  • Meta-example concerning Enemy at the Gates: Western audiences found it a grim retelling of one of history's most brutal battles. Russian audiences thought it was far too lighthearted in its treatment of the darkest chapter in the whole country's history, and the behavior of the characters was really unrealistic/plainly weird. Not one, but two successive Russian Culture Ministers, along with the Russian Military Historical Society, repeatedly called the film a pack of lies, a grave distortion of WWII history and blatant anti-Russian propaganda, to be precise. If you browse through sites like Kinopoisk (Russian version of Rotten Tomatoes), you will see that the majority of people thought that Hollywood outright put the entire Red Army in a bad light with all the "you get ammo without a rifle" scenes. Surviving Russian WWII veterans denounced it.
  • In the 1950s-era film, So Young, So Bad, the main character (Loretta) has a baby out of wedlock. It's presented as a character flaw that she wants to give the baby up for adoption—despite the fact that she's an unmarried teenager who has no family to support her. Her happy ending is choosing to keep her baby, albeit after graduating from school. This is a holdover from pre-war years, where mothers were discouraged from giving up their children for adoption.
  • Grease:
    • At the time of the film's setting, it was revolutionary to have a "good girl" break away from society's norms and become a greaser chick (even if it meant heartache to her family). Nowadays, Sandy radically changing herself just to get Danny to like her more is both sexist and a perfect example of a harmful "lesson".
    • "Summer Nights":
      "Tell me more, tell me more, was it love at first sight?"
      "Tell me more, tell me more, did she put up a fight?"
    • Using the nerdy boy Eugene as a Butt-Monkey would also raise quite a few eyebrows; it’s played painfully straight even at the very end of the film. (The fact that he's genuinely a better athlete than the greasers does soften the blow a bit.)
  • Due to the Minstrel Show, Lincoln's Birthday segment in Holiday Inn is a bit uncomfortable to watch nowadays.
  • When Blowup was released, the nudity was scandalous, while the hero's contempt for his models and female admirers (he offhandedly refers to the latter as "bitches") was ignored. Today the sex seems incredibly tame, while the hero's misogyny is appalling. The nudity is a gray area: on the one hand, most people wouldn't bat an eye about it. On the other hand, you still have people who believe nudity is evil and sinful.
  • Watch any western from the 1920s through the '70s, and see if you can notice how many times Native Americans, women and/or Mexicans are stereotyped or condescended towards. "I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges" would not have made it to the final cut nowadays, that's for sure.
  • The Sandlot has a classic scene in which one of the boys gets CPR, and, upon recovery, plays at still being unconscious so that next time his female rescuer goes to use mouth-to-mouth, he can grab her head and kiss her. The gang, of course, respond by tipping their hats to him for the next few weeks, and she responds by becoming interested in and eventually marrying him. Now imagine if the boy were a grown-up man...
    • And why do we have to imagine a twelve year old kid in the '60s who probably doesn't know what sexual assault is as a grown man. Everybody has been complaining about this since it came out, but the fact is that he's a kid, who does get punished for the event in question.
  • One of the things that make the other boys suspect that the protagonist of Tea and Sympathy might be gay is his long hair, and by the standards of 1956, when the film was released,note  his hair was on the long side for a high-school-aged boy, in that he did not have a crew cut. For an audience watching the film at pretty much any time from the late sixties onward, his haircut looks quite short and conservative.
  • Carrie (1976):
    • Considering the character was being bullied, the Gym teacher was right to intervene and report it to the principal. Nowadays, she would've been viewed as a hero because bullying has gotten deadly, forcing many US States to pass laws regarding it. The bullies would’ve faced suspension or expulsion these days rather than have Carrie take matters in her own hands… or rather, her mind.note 
    • Also, as sex education is now mandatory in many public schools in the country (including in Maine, where the film takes place), Carrie would have learned about menstruation well beforehand and likely wouldn't have freaked out so terribly when it happened.
      • Actually, that assumption is wrong. Margaret White would have never allowed her daughter to participate in such a "dirty" class.
    • Likewise the scene where Chris gets slapped by the teacher. The latter two film adaptations leave that part out.note  These days a teacher hitting a student would be fired on the spot, no matter how rotten the student in question is. The novel at least has Chris' father attempt to get the teacher fired, while the principal fires back with in loco parentis, the concept being that while the child is at school, the school/administrators are basically a temporary parent, and they will counter-sue Chris on Carrie's behalf (which also would not really fly today).
  • Porky's: Balbricker would’ve run the risk of sexual assault charges these days rather than police arrest on Tommy's exhibitionism since he showed his privates to the girls through a peephole, giving Balbricker a reason to attack. As a matter of fact, a teen showing their privates would’ve been grounds for expulsion, even by 1980s standards. Even the act of giving a teenage character a nude scene in a film at all would be a touchy subject.
  • Revenge of the Nerds:
    • There's a scene so creepy that it's sort of amazing no one at the time apparently thought it was. The hero, Lewis, steals and puts on the costume worn by his Jerk Jock rival to a carnival and wears it while he seduces the jock's girlfriend. Seduces as in has sex with her while pretending to be her boyfriend. He's unmasked halfway through, and the girl instantly forgives him, because he's the best sex she's ever had. It's all okay, you see, because he rapes her into loving him.
    • The nerds secretly rig hidden cameras in the sorority house during a "panty raid", gawk at the residents undressing via video, and disseminate images of one of the Pi ladies topless during their "pie sale". Just how many porn distribution, privacy and stalking statutes did they break, there...?
  • Animal House:
    • The Good Angel, Bad Angel scene where Pinto wonders whether he should have sex with the unconscious teenager Clorette has become extremely cringeworthy since rape, both on college campuses and among teenagers, has become a bigger concern. While both parties would be equally mocked back in the '70s (the movie was released in 1978), nowadays virtually everyone will sympathize with Clorette and Pinto would be ostracized from society. Then again, the more serious attitude toward campus rape can mean that for some viewers the joke now Crosses the Line Twice, and as a result, has become even funnier.
    • It also plays, strictly for laughs, the moment when Kroger finds out (after sex) that the mayor's daughter, with whom he has been having a relationship, is merely 13. Today it comes across as insensitive and thoughtless to do so.
  • A Christmas Story has several examples, some of which is due to coming out in 1983 and some of which is due to Deliberate Values Dissonance due to being set in The '40s:
    • When the family is enjoying a Peking Duck Christmas, they're put off by the fact that the duck is served with the head still attached. Seeing their concern, the owner promptly chops the head off and sticks it in his pocket, further shocking the family. The kitchen staff also sings Christmas carols with comically thick accents. The owner, who speaks excellent English, fruitlessly tries to correct their pronunciation but eventually banishes them back to the kitchen in frustration. Such a scene would be considered fairly insensitive by modern standards, but the fact that it's pretty funny and not mean-spirited means it generally gets a pass, and Asian-Americans often enjoy the scene as well.
    • Ralphie is punished for using profanity by having a bar of soap put in his mouth, a common punishment in the 1940s where the film takes place. In 1982, a year before the film was released, the practice was deemed "moderate" compared to spanking and was still an alternative to spanking until around 1996. However, not so today, where such punishment is now deemed abuse. Look at how Mrs. Parker learned a lesson when she tried it on herself.
    • When Ralphie blames Schwartz for a swear word he said, Ralphie's mother calls Schwartz's mother to let her know. We then listen to Schwartz's mother scream at the top of her lungs and begin beating her son over the phone, while he playfully yells "What'd I do?!?" Ralphie's mother is at first shocked when she hears it, but simply hangs up the phone and thinks nothing more of it. If something like that happened these days, Ralphie's mother would have immediately called Child Protection Services.
    • Ralph’s Christmas wish for a BB gun would be somewhat frowned upon in most if not all urban areas; a regional as well as a temporal case of Values Dissonance, though, since many, many parents in small towns and rural areas have absolutely no problem with giving their kids such a gift even today.
    • Scut Farkus' brand of violent bullying is unlikely to go unpunished in this day and age, given how modern Zero Tolerance school policies react even to most benign offenses. By the same token, if a modern-day Ralphie were to respond to bullying in this manner, i.e. by beating the living daylights out of a kid who has been the bane of his existence, HE would most likely be ordered into counseling and anger management therapy, while Scut Farkus's parents would cry victim because Ralphie beat him up. In short, nowadays Ralphie would be the one seen as the bully.
  • Reality Bites: The film does this to itself in capturing the zeitgeist of twentysomethings in The '90s, where the biggest problem was alienation and discontent due to having no major adversity to struggle against. The main characters complaining about their middle-class suburbanite lives comes off as very unsympathetic to anyone living through the various political and economic upheavals of the early 21st century, and even to older critics when the film was new.
  • In Foxy Brown, the eponymous character repeatedly uses "faggot" as a casual insult. To many modern viewers, this would just make her look like she's uneducated at best, and at worst like she's a disgusting bigot.
  • The Epic of Everest (1924) is a documentary about that year's unsuccessful attempt to climb Mount Everest. Its intertitles contain several remarks that read oddly 90 years on, especially in the description of the Tibetan town of Phari-Dzong: "Amid dirt and mud and stinking refuse, the people live with their dogs and cattle in these hovels begrimed with the smoke of the argo fires ... And in contrast to all of this, the cold purity of the snows of Chomolhari puts to shame the dirt of Phari."
  • In Twister Jonas is presented as a Hate Sink because he got corporate funding and "doesn't care about the science" - he's apparently just in it for the money. He would come across as a Designated Villain these days but when the film was made in the 90s, "selling out to 'the Man'" was not such a big deal for some people.
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and its sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, being movies about American teenagers in the 1980s, have the characters casually using the word "fag" as an insult towards a villain, and in one scene they hug each other only to break the hug and call one another a "fag." Nowadays, of course, sympathetic characters would never use such a slur. Thanks to the extremely long Sequel Gap of 29 years, the third film, Bill & Ted Face the Music, completely drops the use of the word.
  • Teen Wolf has a scene where one of the characters is Mistaken for Gay. The word "fag" is used no less than three times throughout this bit of dialogue.
  • In films from the mid-'90s and before simply being a "drug dealer" was enough, in most cases, to make a character a villain. Nowadays, the increasingly strong backlash against the War on Drugs has made it so that for drug dealers to be considered actual villains they must either 1) sell strong stuff like crack cocaine, meth, and/or heroin, 2) have ties to brutal Mexican drug cartels and/or 3) sell to kids.
  • The 1917 silent film The Black Stork featured eugenicist Dr. Harry Haiselden playing a fictionalized version of himself. The film has a pro-eugenics message with Haiselden's character portrayed as doing the right thing for allowing a "defective" newborn baby to die (this was based on something Haiselden actually did, by the way). The movie's tagline was, "Kill defectives, save the nation and see The Black Stork." The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures almost banned the film for being too graphic, and had some of the most lurid images, along with references to God, taken out. Depicting an infant being left to die as good, however, was allowed. Both famed defense lawyer Clarence Darrow and Helen Keller (herself often deemed "defective" over being deaf and mute) defended the idea (Darrow though later turned anti-eugenics at least, while Keller did not seem concerned by the fact that, under this standard, she could have been allowed to die as well after becoming disabled). Some of the title cards read like pure Nazi propaganda, with characters preaching the importance of race betterment and lamenting the expensiveness of defectives' care, and it's not a coincidence that the film went out of circulation the year America entered World War II. This similarity is not a coincidence: Nazis took many ideas from the American and British eugenicists. For instance, the model eugenics law Harry Loughlin wrote inspired the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring" Hitler issued, which legalized involuntary sterilization of all disabled and mentally ill people under rulings by special "Health Courts". Loughlin even got an honorary degree from a German university in 1935 for his work on the "science" of "racial cleansing". They used the same reasoning for their own "euthanasia" program, Aktion T4.
  • In What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Edwin's mother chews him out for working for Jane Hudson. She mentions the most awful thing Jane did in the past and says it so that it's worse than seemingly trying to run over her own sister—being found in a hotel room with a man she'd just met. (His reply: "Wasn't that how I was conceived?" shows that she's a hypocrite on top of everything else.)
  • George's utterly horrified reaction in It's a Wonderful Life to his wife being a miserable spinster librarian in the Bad Future can come across as this. Granted, she is clearly unhappy, but George had, in quick succession, learned his first boss is a homeless ex-con, his childhood crush and later friend is an abused stripper, his uncle has been committed to the insane asylum, many of his friends are dirt-poor, his nemesis Mr. Potter has literally bought the entire town, and his younger brother is dead, all because he never existed. That this is what sends him over the line is quite indicative of the values of the day. Frank Capra acknowledged decades later that this didn't age well and wished he gave the character a different fate.
  • In the original version of Superman: The Movie, baby Clark was found stark naked, with "Clark Jr." in plain view. Today, there is usually some editing to that scene. Worth noting though, is that the reboot Man of Steel also had baby Clark naked uncensored, but the shot passes by quick enough that it's easy to not notice it.
  • In Braveheart, Prince Edward is a homosexual as well as a fashion-obsessed wimp and incapable ruler. Many of these details are taken from history, and the film never implies that Edward's sexuality is what makes him a wimp, but the portrayal strays close to negative stereotypes of homosexual men and would raise eyebrows in today's political climate. Indeed, gay-rights advocates called the movie out in 1995 (particularly for the death of his lover being Played for Laughs), but were paid little heed.
    • In a more meta sense of values dissonance, historians generally agree that Prince Edward, future King Edward II of England, was indeed gay, or at least bisexual (he did father an illegitimate child as well as an heir). Unlike the effeminate stereotype shown, the real Edward was quite masculine, described as strong and muscular. While homosexuality was condemned in 14th century England like most places at the time, the mere fact that two men had sex didn't necessarily mean they were homosexual, at least not at the time.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
    • Charlie Bucket and his mother being upset by Grandpa Joe's vow to quit tobacco. At the turn of The '70s, cigarette ads had just been banned from American TV and radio and smoking would remain a relatively widespread habit into The '80s. Even in the film, the reason Grandpa Joe is quitting tobacco is the fact that it's an expensive habit for such a poor family. The fact that his health is already so poor he spends all day in bed doesn't come up!
    • Mike Teevee is obsessed with watching westerns on television, dresses like a cowboy, and carries a realistic toy gun that he draws on Willy Wonka while yelling "WHAM! You're dead!" upon first meeting him — which Wonka plays along with as the joke it is. While Mike is supposed to be a particularly obnoxious child, all of this behavior comes across as very archaic in modern times. The "cowboys and Indians" style of dress and play has been virtually stamped out of kid culture due to its violence and offensiveness. Realistic toy guns are now extremely rare due to a variety of reasons, from kids getting mistakenly shot by police in The '80s to the rise of school shootings at the end of The '90s.
  • Mary Poppins, being set in The Edwardian Era, has some Deliberate Values Dissonance, but also a regular example in that Admiral Boom uses the term "Hottentots". This would not fly today, as that was used to refer to a tribe in Botswana.
  • Subverted by the Singaporean film series Ah Boys to Men, which has people being shot, as well as constantly using swear words and making sexual innuendos (such as whore), and a few others... yet Singaporean kids are okay with that.
  • In America, many people were surprised that the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey didn't get an NC-17 rating right out of the gate given the source material's notorious sexual content. Other countries did give it their maximum ratings, while some either heavily edited the sexual material or banned the film outright. There was, however, one conspicuous exception: France, where it sailed through with a 12 certificate, roughly equivalent to a PG or a PG-13. Moreover, as John Oliver noted, there was controversy within the National Centre of Cinematography (CNC) over this rating... namely, that some thought it was too high, and that it should've been given the all-ages U certificate. Apparently, the CNC thought that the sex scenes were tame, not particularly shocking, and even "schmaltzy" compared to the content of France's own erotic films, with only the BDSM themes pushing it out of all-ages territory.
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang: Helen's line "I'm free, white, and twenty-one." was a common expression during the 1920s, 1930s, and much later when racism was not only socially acceptable but the law in many parts of the country. The use of this line lasted into the sixties and even seventies. Inger Stevens' use of the idiom is lampshaded by Harry Belafonte in 1959's The World The Flesh And The Devil.
  • Blazing Saddles: Written by Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor, the kings of N-Word Privileges. The whole point of the film was to take every trope of the standard American Western, a dozen more from Hollywood films in general, and nuke them all, particularly the racist parts. It's rated as one of the top comedy movies of all time, but Brooks fully admits it would never get made today because of the N-bombs, gay jokes, and Jews cast as Native Americans note .
  • The film version of Cabaret, which was made in the 70s, has a sequence where Sally suggests that Fritz 'pounce' on Natalia let her know how she feels about him. When Natalia tells her about this, she claims that at first, she was shocked, but then realized she liked what was happening. It teeters close to a "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization, but is played somewhat for Cringe Comedy.
  • The movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner has a really blatant Flawless Token, portraying the prospective son-in-law as unfailingly perfect and virtuous. The reason was so that his future in-laws (and by extension, the audience) would have nothing to object to in his marrying their daughter other than his race. The irony is that in a modern context the marriage has a lot of red flags totally unrelated to race, but weren't too much of a deal in 1967; Joanna only met John less than two weeks ago and is already prepared to marry him, even though there's a significant gap in both age and life experience (she's fresh out of college, he's a successful doctor who's traveled the world) and shortly after their wedding, he intends to move to a country she's never been to, away from everyone she knows, and where she will not speak the native language. It seems weird that Joanna's parents aren't the least bit concerned about that.
  • In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the Big Bad is Ray Finkle, a former football player whose botched field goal kick cost him a Superbowl win and ultimately his sanity. It is later revealed that the beautiful no-nonsense female police lieutenant Lois Einhorn, who dislikes Ace but has some sexual tension with him, actually is Finkle, having assumed the identity of a dead woman and even having partial gender-reassignment surgery to pass as female. The movie is vague as to whether or not Finkle is actually transgender or if he's so insane he changed genders and became a cop just as part of a long-term plan to get back at the Miami Dolphins. Furthermore, when Ace realizes the two are one and the same, he's horrified that he got to second base with a "man" and we see a montage of him washing his mouth out, burning his clothes, and taking a Shower of Angst. With transgender visibility and acceptance of trans people in the society has come a long way since the mid-'90s, what was considered funny back then would be skewered for its transphobia today.
  • The Mask of Fu Manchu is a Yellow Peril pulp movie from the 1930s and is full of Asian stereotypes and villains, complete with Boris Karloff and Myrna Loy in Yellowface. And of course, the fact that the plot involves Fu Manchu trying to lead all of Asia against the West.
  • The late 90s movie Office Space is essentially about the main character Peter going into clinical depression over his job, which is shown to be frustrating and demeaning. But in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008 and the long and shaky recovery from it that's been marked by high unemployment rates and a dry job market, Peter comes off as rather unsympathetic for complaining about having a steady job just because he's unhappy with it.
    Peter: What if we're still doing this when we're fifty?
    Samir: It'd be nice to have that kind of job security.
  • Shivers: As a result of the sex parasites, men start making out with other men and women start making out with other women. Given that it's set in the more conservative 1970snote , this was probably intended to be seen as people losing all rational inhibitions. Nowadays, putting homosexuality on the same level as incest or pedophilia would be incredibly insulting.
  • At one point, The Sea Hawk suffers from a bit of a disconnect due to the passage of time. Errol Flynn's protagonist is a handsome and charming swashbuckler, but when he's in front of The Spanish Inquisition he boasts of pillaging and burning Spanish towns to the ground, proudly confessing to doing more of it than he's being charged with. In the 1930s-40s this made him a badass to kids watching the movie; today, it sounds like he's writing his own indictment to go before the ICC and one can hardly blame the Spanish judge for throwing the book at him and the Spanish government for demanding that the English government pull the plug on their privateers as a result.
  • Sixteen Candles has many elements that have not aged well with today's audience:
    • The character of Long Duk Dong is essentially a walking embodiment of Southeastern Asian stereotypes, whose appearance is always marked with the sound of an oriental gong. While the gong was actually a last-minute addition that Gedde Watanabe was unfamiliar with, it would make today's viewers cringe. Long at least has a great time during the party at the end, so he's not the worst example of an Ethnic Scrappy.
    • There's also the treatment of geeks, who are seen as social outcasts with strange or crazy obsessions. While this was an almost obligatory staple of teen films until the late 2000s, it would seem strange thereafter as geek culture became very popular during the following decade. One of the geeks (played by Joan Cusack) is a neck-braced girl whose condition is joked about, which would be seen as a very ableist move today.
    • The film features many elements that are unsuitable for a PG-rated movie today (the film came out just before the PG-13 rating was introduced). There are several scenes of casual swearing by the main characters — the word "faggot" and shows up a lot, which is seen today as an offensive slur, and there's also the word "bohunk" (a term to describe lower-class immigrants from Central Europe). At one point, the word "retarded" is used, which is also considered un-PC. There are also many scenes of nudity, such as the shower scene in the first half of the movie.
    • During one scene, Samantha talks to her friend about getting a black-colored Pontiac Trams-Am for her birthday. However, her description is rather vague, which leads to her friend acting in shock and thinking she actually wants a black man. Samantha responds by saying "Black Trans Am, pink guy". At the time, interracial relationships were still seen as being a touchy subject as it had only been legalized in the late '60s, but with it being more common today, the friend's reaction can seem very awkward.
    • It has been argued that the film endorses sexual assault. Ted constantly harasses Samantha during the story and nothing is done about this. There's also a scene where Ted and a drunken Caroline have their way (although consented), which would be seen as being akin to date rape today, especially since Ted actually endorsed this earlier on. In addition, intoxicated people in the US legally cannot consent, which makes it even more outdated.
  • Up the Down Staircase:
    • Even in an Inner City School, teachers are still concerned about Domestic Abuse at home. The nurse in the film acts nonchalant when students come to her beaten up by their Abusive Parents. This might count as Deliberate Values Dissonance to go with how "bad" the school is, as the Naïve Newcomer protagonist is confused about the nurse not telling authorities.
    • In the 1960s homosexuality was still considered a mental illness. As a result, the school psychologist has it written down that one of the students has "latent homosexuality" caused by his masturbatory habits and his overbearing mother.
  • The House I Live In is a 1940s short film where Frank Sinatra (as himself) teaches an anti-bigotry Aesop to a group of boys bullying a Jewish peer. Despite the message, Sinatra still uses the racist term "Jap" when referring to Japanese soldiers. The message of the film is about respecting other Americans no matter the religion or racial heritage. The soldiers, being from Japan, don't count.
  • The 1936 film College Holiday, starring comic legends such as Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, would sound like heaven for many a fan of Golden Age (both of Hollywood and Radio)-era comedy... except for the fact the plot involves a Greek-inspired eugenics experiment with a group of students as the unwitting subjects. It would take almost a decade for eugenics to become completely discredited.
  • In To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Noxeema gives a brief rundown of different Transgender types, which has become painfully dated since the mid-90s. She explains that a transvestite is someone who crossdresses for kicks, a transsexual is someone trapped in the wrong sex's body and has surgery, and a Drag Queen is a gay man "with way too much fashion sense for one gender." This may be consistent with 90s attitudes, but by the 2010s, transgender people gained mainstream visibility and began deciding for themselves how they wish to be defined, and these terms and definitions have fallen out of favor for various reasons:
    • "Transvestite" due to its negative, sensationalist connotations. Nowadays such a person would be considered a crossdresser (if it's purely a sexual fetish or fashion) or nonbinary (if it's how they identify).
    • "Transsexual" because a trans person's identity isn't dependent upon their physical traits (chest, genitals, hormones, etc). Many are not able or willing to medically transition, but they are still transgender.
    • Drag has long included Kings and transgender performers, both of which have become far more vocal and visible since the film came out.
  • The film version of The Little Rascals has ballet teacher Miss Roberts react to Butch and Woim and Alfalfa and Spanky accidentally ruining her recital by grabbing their ears and physically shooing them out of the ballet school without even asking for an explanation. In its release year of 1994, this would have likely been a (barely) acceptable method of dealing with kids intruding upon areas they don't belong (and had been for years) but nowadays (with America's increased concern for the well-being of kids, more attention towards child abuse and requirements for witnesses to report it), she would more than likely be fired (if not blacklisted from any occupation that involves close proximity to children) if word got out she had mistreated a few boys. It doesn't help that when she escorts Butch and Woim out, you can see a few bystanders down the hall who appear nonplussed by the scene (even though they're both yelping in pain).
  • In The Wizard, from 1989, young Haley is able to stop Putnam, the detective who's trying to take the kid heroes back home, from taking away Jimmy at a video arcade by pointing at him and yelling "HE TOUCHED MY BREAST!", which causes Putnam to get hauled out of the building by security and follows him around for the rest of the film. The whole thing is Played for Laughs and Laser-Guided Karma, which raised some eyebrows even at the time, but today, accusing someone of child molestation, truthfully or falsely, would never be written so lightly, let alone portrayed in a children's film.
  • In Calamity Jane, Jane talks nonchalantly about attacking Native Americans. Despite its light-hearted nature, the film still uses the "savage Indian" trope associated with old cowboy films.
  • Oscar Micheaux's race films, such as Within Our Gates and The Symbol of the Unconquered, are renown for their discussions on race in early 1900s America and for featuring black characters in non-stereotypical roles, but there's also a noticeable colorism in his films. The eloquent, heroic characters are all very light-skinned and are praised for their pale skin tones (though, the actively white passing ones are near always villainous, self-hating individuals). In contrast, darker-skinned characters are uneducated and impoverished.
  • In Crime Doctor, prison authorities are enthusiastic about prison inmates being given military training and allow them to drill with replica rifles, in a sequence which seems very strange to modern audiences.
  • In Black Zoo, Edna runs a 'Chimp Show' where chimpanzees perform for zoo-goers, dressed in human clothes and performing 'tricks' such as lighting and smoking cigarettes. These were a common feature of zoos of the time, and are presented as wholesome family entertainment; especially when compared to Michael's obsession with big cats. To modern audiences, the chimp show is an uncomfortable and degrading experience.
  • The Graduate. Twofold:
    • In the second half of the movie, Benjamin goes after Elaine, climaxing in the church on her wedding day. In 1967, Ben's actions were the full-blown rebellion of the youth against adult authority and Elaine even rebels by choosing him over her "husband". People would support him and even cheer at him waving that cross at the opponents. Fast-forward to 1997, Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear accuses the film of romanticizing stalkers.
    • The late Roger Ebert originally thought Mrs. Robinson was "an insufferable creep", but changed that view in the Nineties. Now that time has passed, most are willing to see Mrs. Robinson through sympathetic eyes, given the circumstances.
  • In The Fly (1986), Stathis' stalking of Veronica in the first act was intended to be seen as fairly harmless and funny to audiences in The '80s, but to audiences in The New '10s who lived with the #MeToo movement and see harassment of women as a serious social issue, the character becomes really unpalatable. Even in 2005, writer-director David Cronenberg's DVD Commentary has him noting that workplace sexual harassment just wasn't seen as an issue at the time (and would not be for another five years). It could have been worse — the dynamic between Veronica and Stathis had some Belligerent Sexual Tension as scripted to provide tension in the Love Triangle (with their confrontation near the end of Act One including his Anguished Declaration of Love and her giving him a quick kiss on the lips as it ends, even as she returns to her true love Seth, moments that are not in the final cut) — but ended up being played more antagonistically, as John Getz (who played Stathis) notes in the retrospective documentary Fear of the Flesh. (Getz suggests that having then-real life lovers playing Veronica and Seth may have contributed to that, especially as the latter was as insecure as his character about Stathis coming off as a legitimate rival.) The screenplay even ended with an epilogue that had them get back together and revealed she was now pregnant with his child rather than Seth's. This scene, along with an alternate version in which she wasn't pregnant and even two other versions that left her single, was shot (all are viewable on non-Vanilla Edition releases), but test audiences found none of them satisfying and no one in the cast or crew wanted the original or first alternate endings because they couldn't believe/accept she'd just go back to Stathis after losing Seth. The 2008 opera adaptation (yes, there is one) notably dials back Stathis's stalking and plays what remains more seriously.
  • Meatballs III (the third installment of the popular Summer Campy series) has this problem in droves:
    • The film shows male nudity from a character who is expressly said to be 14 years-old. Even if the character in question was played by a much-older Patrick Dempsey, the scene comes across as disturbing, especially when he's confronted by a porn star (who comments on his attributes) just after he'd stepped out of the shower.
    • The lead character, Rudy, learns from his Spirit Advisor that "no means yes", and that he should be willing to misrepresent himself if it means getting what he wants. He proceeds to do this several times, at one point being so forceful on a woman that she has to knee him in the groin to stop his advances. Even worse, the ending doubles down on while having the same advisor tell Rudy's love interest, Wendy, to do the exact same thing. While it may have been seen as funny at the time, such actions would be outright vilified if a man tried that in the modern age.
    • The "Love Goddess" (played by Shannon Tweed) is subjected to Slut-Shaming by the entire population of the nearby camp, as they're convinced that she's such a Sex God that she requires her "husband" (actually her brother, pretending to act as her husband) to protect her from a horde of suitors knocking down her door. The solution to the protagonist's problem (trying to lose his virginity) involves him throwing a paralyzed potential suitor out of the second-floor window of her home (nearly drowning him in the process), learning from her that she's not a "Love Goddess" at all (she spends all her time studying, despite dressing up in racy clothing), and pretending to have sex with her — which nearly gets the protagonist killed once her brother shows up. This is somehow presented as a funny and generally good thing, even though some/all of these individuals could have been charged with assault or as an accessory.
  • In the 1970s, films like Shaft, Death Wish, and Taxi Driver struck a chord with an audience weary enough of rising crime rates and police inefficiency to become convinced to take the law on their hands. By the 1990s however, numerous cases of Disproportionate Retribution led to a more negative view of vigilantism and modern films depicting these kinds of characters tend to portray them unsympathetically unless they are law enforcers or at least play by the rules. Straight revivals such as the remakes for Death Wish and Shaft were panned by the critics and flopped at the box office.
  • In the Spanish children's film Las Aventuras de Zipi y Zape (1981), there is a stereotyped band of Italian mobsters who, like good Italians, repeat Italian words like "fetuccini", "lasagna", "spaghetti" and "Mama mía ", And in a moment they pretend to be Japanese using Yellowface. There is also the character of an Afro-Cuban maid played by a white actress in Blackface and with a ridiculous accent. None of these things would be allowed in current Spain (except, perhaps, Italian stereotypes)
  • Deckard's relationship with Rachael in Blade Runner begins with a scene where he physically blocks her from leaving his apartment, pushes her against a wall, and demands that she tell him to kiss her. Even though she'd been crying moments earlier, she immediately gets into it and initiates sex with him. This is portrayed as Defrosting the Ice Queen and Belligerent Sexual Tension, while today it would be regarded as abusive.
  • Now, Voyager is quite ahead of its time in its discussions about mental illness in the 1940s, but...
    • After she finishes her treatment, Charlotte returns home to live with her abusive mother - the same woman who caused a lot of her nervous breakdown in the first place. Likewise, it's expected that Tina will return home too, even though her mother Isabelle is abusive. Separating the victims from their abusers is never even mentioned.
    • The biggest obstacle to Charlotte and Jerry being together is that he's already married - to a horrible abuser who makes his and their daughter's life miserable. In the 1940s, divorce could only happen if there was evidence of 'spousal wrongdoing' and couples couldn't divorce freely until the late 60s.
    • While in South America, Jerry and Charlotte are lying next to each other one night. Charlotte has fallen asleep, and Jerry kisses her on the cheek. What was intended as a cute, tender moment comes across as a violation of Charlotte's consent?
  • Claude Berri's 1977 French film One Wild Moment has two divorced men going on vacation to Corsica with their teenage daughters, one of whom seduces her father's friend. While this is a common enough plot in French literature and cinema as not to have raised many eyebrows, so much so that the film was remade without any major plot changes in 2015note , it caused some consternation among American critics in the early 1980s when the film was remade as Blame It on Rio, even though the film tried to excuse it by giving the daughter some psychological issues.note 
  • The World of Suzie Wong:
    • A scene has Robert getting annoyed with Suzie's taunting, and he rips the dress she's wearing off her (because it was bought by Ben, the man for whom Suzie has become The Mistress) and leaves her sobbing on the bed. We're supposed to sympathize with Robert here - for having to take so much taunting from Suzie - but it makes him look abusive to modern audiences. To his credit, he does apologize later.
    • This is probably Deliberate Values Dissonance as well, but after Suzie is assaulted by a drunk client, she asks Robert to lie and say he hit her. She then brags to her friends that he did so as a sign of how much he loves her.
    • Suzie and her friends have fun going around Robert's room and playing with his things while he's out at dinner. What was a playful comedy bit in the 60s comes across as creepy and stalkerish today.
  • Cry Uncle (1971): This sleazy Troma sex comedy has our Private Detective protagonist, a schlubby sad-sack of a gumshoe, stumble across a naked woman who seems to be passed out. After some self-deprecating wisecracks, he decides to "take advantage of the situation" and has sex with her. The film plays this as a darkly comic act of a pathetic man rather than, you know, a rape. Furthermore, the film seems to think that revealing that the woman has been dead the whole time spares him from wrongdoing and serves as comeuppance. The only ramification for his actions is a mocking coroner telling him to "stick to live ones."
  • Soul Man: The protagonist is a white teen who dons blackface to get into Harvard through affirmative action. While the message was supposed to be against racism, it ignited controversy right upon its release, and you certainly could never get away with a premise like that in a mainstream comedy today.
  • There is a short scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where Admiral Kirk tries to make a pass at Cadet Saavik, but she doesn't get it because she's Vulcan, and McCoy laughs. It's not likely that scene would be written today given that this is a vastly senior officer flirting with a trainee, something that is explicitly verboten in most written codes of conduct because of the inherent power disparity between them.
  • The remake of the 1954 film Sabrina garnered a lukewarm reaction from critics and audiences because of this. The May–December Romance between the 21-year-old title character and the middle-aged Linus was seen as nothing unusual up until the 1980s, but during the 1990s such a disparity in ages became increasingly rare and regarded as painfully sexist, surviving almost solely (at least in the West) in the form of "rich guy marries gal that could be his daughter—and might be a gold digger" (same for Sabrina getting married just after hitting 20).
  • Gigi, best known for the 1958 MGM filmnote , revolves around a rich man and his teenage mistress-to-be, already carrying some Deliberate Values Dissonance from its Belle Epoque setting, becomes rather unsettling to modern eyes (a 2015 Broadway revival erased the visible age-gap, and Maurice Chevalier's "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" was reassigned to Gigi's grandma).
  • The 1961 British film Victim, little remembered today but historically important, is a rare inversion of this trope. Upon its release the British Board of Film Censors gave it an "X", limiting it to adult audiences, despite the lack of extreme sex or violence that such a rating usually entailed, and in the US the Hays Office made the rare decision to refuse its seal of approval, despite recent relaxations to the Production Code. Why? Because the film, the first one in English to use the word "homosexual", not only depicted gay men sympathetically but suggested that there was nothing inherently wrong with them, that society was the one that had the problem.note  Today, those views are mostly mainstream and unremarkable, and the film actually seems rather chaste in its depiction of same-sex relationships.
  • Rear Window: In 1954, it's a very big deal that Jeff and Lisa, both well into adulthood, take their relationship to a physical level. They have to sneak around behind the back of Jeff's landlord, who won't allow mixed couples to spend the night. When Jeff's old buddy Doyle realizes that Lisa is spending the night with him, Doyle exhibits strong disapproval (and perhaps a little jealousy). Jeff warns him very seriously to not even acknowledge what he's uncovered.
  • A Taxi Driver: Jae-sik's Squee! reaction to the picture of Kim's daughter plays differently in the East and West. To the intended Korean audience, this is partially a Pet the Dog moment for Jae-sik, establishing him as a nice, wholesome guy who likes kids. In the West, however, an adult man taking such intense pleasure in looking at the picture of a child comes across as weird at best and very suspicious at worst.
  • Tomboy centers around a ten-year-old girl masquerading as a boy, and features multiple scenes with her shirtless or even just naked. Despite the fact she doesn't have any breasts yet, the notion of a girl over 5 years old with her shirt off in public doesn't settle with a lot of people, from country to country.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has often been forced to avoid this trope, particularly regarding certain characters of color, which is not surprising considering how most of the properties that they are adapting have in been publications for decades.
  • The Elite Squad is a mostly accurate depiction of the Vice City Rio de Janeiro is, with vicious drug dealers ruling in conjunction with Dirty Cops. Brazilians cheered The Unfettered protagonists BOPE who stopped at nothing, including Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, to fight the scourge, but some audiences were rubbed the wrong way by their actions, seeing them as excessive.
  • In Failure to Launch, Tripp is made out like there's something seriously wrong with him for still living with his parents to the point that girls immediately run away when they find out and his friends act as though it's the most shameful thing an adult can do. There are many cultures where it's not only accepted but expected that children (particularly daughters) live with their parents well into adulthood and, in some cases, even after getting married.
  • In the 1980 Soviet film Air Crew, there is a custody battle. The father has an excellent record as a pilot, a wonderful relationship with his son, and he has several female family members who can care for the child when he is away. The mother, in the meantime, badmouths her husband so much during the trial that her own mother’s evidence reveals she’s told the judge heaps of Blatant Lies. Nevertheless, despite the judge’s own preference for the father, the mother gets full custody. And there’s more. The mother works full-time and her mother is ailing, so they send the kid to daycare despite his severe mental problems that they are perfectly aware of, and his condition worsens. Despite all that, the father’s colleague has to pull strings in really high places so that the mother would be forced to allow her ex-husband visitations. As the father’s lawyer explains, it’s simply a custom to choose in favour of the woman in custody cases.
  • In the movie Bridget Jones' Diary, which came out in 2001, Bridget gets groped and sexually harassed a lot, from her boss to her Creepy Uncle Geoffrey and Mr. Fitzherbert stares at her tits so much she calls him "Tits Pervert" and generally Bridget either takes it or just treats it like a tiresome nuisance. In the New Tens, especially with the Me Too movement, this would not fly and she would be expected to call the men out on it.

Alternative Title(s): Film

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