Hidden Meanings in Film

This is a copy of a Blog which appeared online in 2006.

Hidden Meanings in Film

Do you ever find yourself re-writing the script of a movie you are watching?

I am interested in peoples' ideas. Any one of us could come up with hidden meanings in films we have watched. How many interpretations can you come up with?

The 1960s film, Rio Bravo was ostensibly a western.

The archetypal good guy, the Sheriff (John Wayne apparently playing himself) was fighting against evil and apparently insurmountable odds

His only allies were a reluctant sidekick (played by Dean Martin, battling his personal demon (alcohol), a young cowboy (Ricky Nelson providing musical relief and representing youth and innocence) and an 'old timer' (representing solid and dependable justice) were a small band in the Sheriff's office making a lonely stand amidst the general apathy in the face of Mexican bandits who were terrorising the border town.

Was this film, having been made just a few years after the McCarthy era, with Senator Joe McCarthy 'battling' against the evil insurgence of what he saw as Communism in the film industry with old Hollywood fighting the new 'Liberal tendency'. What do you think?

Alan Renais' Providence, is a film about a dysfunctional family.

The father was a writer whose children apparently had no choice but to act out their lives according to his script. Whatever they did, they were bound to live out what he had planned for them.

The tensions were largely understated and apparently unresolved. The acting, particularly by Dirk Bogarde, as the son, was astounding.

This film had such an effect on me that I dreamed that the two main characters (father and grown up son) fought to the death with knives and a lot of blood in my bathroom. A comment on my relationship with my own father, perhaps? (It's ok, I did not kill him. I did say HIDDEN meanings.)

Daphne du Maurier's heroine in the filmed version of her novel, Rebecca, curiously a young woman without a name, had famously been described as the story of a young woman who idolised her father and subconsciously wanted to marry him.

She does marry an older man who, at least at the beginning of their relationship, treats her like a child. His former wife, the dead Rebecca, who we never see, being the mother/rival.

It is only when the truth of his former wife Rebecca's death is revealed, that Mr de Winter sees his wife as a grown up.

War films, many of which are favourites of mine, have a strong anti-war message in them. My all-time favourites being of this genre being 'Oh, What a Lovely War' and 'Zulu'.

Do we subconsciously choose films which have hidden meanings? What do you think? However bizarre or surreal, please add them here. I'd love to read them.

copyright Marguerite Hegley 2006

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