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"It's A Wonderful Life" And Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers."

647 words - 3 pages

The morals and values of Americans are depicted well in both Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" and Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers." Although they both are trying to illustrate the same thing (American values), the descriptions shown of American values and morals are drastically different from the 1940's to the 1990's. The values and morals held for self, family and community can be contrasted in both films. We will see how these different social relationships of the "true American" change from the 40's to the 90's.Self as an entity, according to American culture, should be respected, loved, and esteemed. Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" shows this self respect and esteem through the main character George Bailey. In the film George goes through many hardships and comes to a point ...view middle of the document...

The difference in value of family is seen both films. In "Natural Born Killers," the family is never highly regarded. Mallory's relationship with her father is a horrible one. The father obviously did not cherish his daughter and took advantage of her, resulting in his murder later in the film. The opposite effect is shown in the family structure in Capra's film. We can see this when George Bailey as a child risks his own life to save that of his brothers. Family seemed to be much more important in Capra's film compared to that of Stone's.According to true American values, an American shares a responsibility within his or her community. This responsibility is illustrated in Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," when the whole of the community comes together to help George Bailey pay his debt at the end of the film. The values shown here were unselfish kind values, unlike the ones depicted in Stone's movie. In "Natural Born Killers," there was no generous community illustrated, the whole of community was only interested in themselves and their own entertainment as they watched the killing spree on television, not ever offering any help. The picture between communities was undoubtedly different from the 40's to the 90's as the morals changed from generous kind folk to selfish and egotistical people.The change in values and morals is evidently clear in both films. Capra shows the viewer, through different social relationships, that this era was one with unselfish, humble and kind values. On the other hand Stone's film shows how society's values have changed to selfish, arrogant callous ones. Stone not only shows the difference in values but shows how these values got to be so different. Stone gives blame to the media and television for such a change in morals. Stone's and Capra's films illustrate how values can change within 50 years in different social relationships such as family, community, and self.

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