In the Michael Sloane written, Frank Darabont directed 2001 holiday feel good movie late in the year ‘patriotism is questioning unjust and sadistic fear mongering authority’ anti war and anti nationalism film, The Majestic, Jim Carrey plays the main protagonist, rising Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton. Opening the movie as a relatively womanizing no principals capitalism loving cad, we finds Carrey’s Appleton randomly being target and blacklisted Hollywood writer due to the Red Scare. As he is rushing to get away to drop off revisions of a script for a serial he was writing just the day before a hearing he was to testify at before the un american activities committee. He gets into a car accident falling off the Pacific Coast Highway, only ending up washed up on shore an amnesiac in a small quiet town decimated by the lost of many of its male citizens due to World War 2. In the town one of the old residents; Harry Trimble, played by Martin Landau, who owns the titular town movie theater The Majestic, now closed several years because of lost heart from the town loosing their sons thinks that Carey is in fact his missing World War 2 NAZI killing son, Luke Trimball, come back from war and so the whole town thinks he is too. In him coming to the town of Lawson, a town that lost so many of its boys and those that came back we scared emotionally and physically from the horrors of war, Carrey is able to unify and reawaken pride and hope in this town with his assumed identity he doesn’t even know isn’t his.
But small things make one of the town’s residents who knew the real man Carrey is now sitting in for that he couldn’t do. Like play improvisational jazz on the piano. The character played by the classic 70s black actor, Gerry Black, he keeps it secret because the town needed this. Its make people feel hopeful again. And in this reawakening of the town Carrey’s Luke is able to gets his adoptive father Harry re-opened The Majestic theater. It is then during the first showing of a film Carrey’s character was actually the writer on in the beginning of the film Carrey’s character starts saying the lines of the movie … watching intently and then before long he starts to say the lines before they are even said and you see this flash in his eyes when he looks at the poster of the film and his name. He now has this look of just dejection and fear and dread and sadness. You can see he honestly is hurt to lose this life he had found.
But he has to go back. He has to be honest. This town has shown him what the loss and sacrifice of what makes democracy so important is. That is being able to stand up and address grievances with the government, without fear of reprisal; which sadly during the time this movie is set and in the movie itself shows as you see Carrey’s character’s character defaced by the federal government by a mccarthyesque fictional foil analog. This anti-labor attack dog, played by the traveled character actor Robert Balaban, is scrupulous in his zeal to make a name for himself in government using this to hearing to hunt out socialist, communists, queers, and all things he see as impure because sad fact America was in many ways the reason NAZIs rose up his ticket to the big show in government.
To mention about american exceptionalism as the source for the NAZIs philosophy, the tools of race based segregation and racial terror and genocide was mastered in modern era by the USA . The book Mein Kampf was in fact highly influenced by the anti-semitic works of Henry Ford, yes the automaker. In Mein Kampf Hitler gushes admiration for Ford in his release of the conspiracy theories about jews that Hitler read in prison and put him on his scapegoat pointing death cult path. Ford was the one who took the tsarist military general written and government backed anti semitic propaganda “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”; which was created to distract Russian citizens from government corruption before the fall of the Russian empire and the rise of the communists which, but this was released in both books and in newspaper serial form in the Ford controlled The Dearborn Independent, also known as The Ford International Weekly .
Another factor is the Nazi party rose as a joint conservative party coalition government with the nazi party being backed by the same monopoly steel and war trust that funded and backed and promoted the WWI Austro-Hungarian empire expansion for the sake of selling and taking more resources for private control . So sadly the red scare backed by large American monopolistic corporations to kill the growing workers unionisation and organization of the united states after so many women, minorities, and others not allowed to fight in the war and who took over jobs for the white men who left all now wouldn’t go back to the way things were. Many of which such as the Rockefellers actually got tax charity donation laws passed because they threatened to join Mussolini and the Italian fascists, mostly because Rockefeller liked collecting Italian art being sold off by the fascists, where corruption with tight close connections with large corporations made crony capitalism fill out the dreams of father of conservative ideology, Edmund Burke proud, and made for easy bed fellows for the ultra rich.
So Jim Carrey goes to the hearing and gives this speech about what people die for in war, the blood sacrifice if you will, for the rights and freedom our experiment called modern democracy WAS. It makes the whole crowd behind him in the hearing chear and the mccarthyism proxy is embarrassed and admonished by the senior chair of the congressional committee as being out of line and to end this witch hunt.
It’s a well acted film and was one of the last films with Martin Landau playing a relative lead roll and not just a cameo as Harry Trimble, the father that takes Jim Carrey in as his proxy son. With the son’s love interest, played by Laurie Holden, falling in love with Jim Carrey as well in a gee shucks golly look what we have here this is a not seedy romance of the evil hollywood machine and she is a good girl from a good family who waited for her true love who died bravely in war trope but hey I get it this is a dated feel good movie logic written by a guy so I got to enjoy it. I take what I can but I like this movie still it’s enjoyable in so it makes me feel hopeful about fighting for the ideals of responsable compassionate freedom of speech being able to slap down those of bad faith who act in predatory ways to protect an oppressive state in which consolidation of power dictates the lives of people doing nothing more that trying to live life that isn’t harming anyone but is harming the potential of the status quo of who is in power in a power dynamic and who shares power.
Side note when a letter by the real son Luke Trimball is read, Matt Damon provides the narration voice over of it. Making you realize that if Luke Trimball, the person Jim Carrey was replacing was supposed to look like Matt Damon; then just 3 years recently made internationally famous and an oscar darling off of his win for acting and writing in Good Will Hunting and cameo role as Private ryan in the titular, Saving Private Ryan, then the town must have been collectively insane to confuse the two; but hey grief and suffering do crazy things when people want an inkling of hope again in their life. Look what the midwest rust belt wrought out of an opioid induced stupor to Make American Great Again in their beaten by capitalism but brainwashed by false conclusions of Faux News brainwashing . Even though for a fact the united states produced more manufactured goods now than it did at the height of the rust belt union labor, It’s just that now what used to take 50 people on a Ford (Call back) style factory line to make something now takes one person, who mostly minds the machines, thanks to automation .
Oh also you really should listen to this scene in which Jim Carrey’s fictional character passionately standups for the ideals of america in the context of the social contract being the same kind of contract a movie studio wrote back in the day for it’s pool of talent it kept on paid retainer. If it’s sacrin sweet gee jolly Mr Smith Goes to Washington invoking filibuster-esque emotional call for universal rights doesn’t get to you, you got a cold black heart there Charlie brown.
This has been P.M. Roanhouse
And this has been the Portland Movie Club‘s Review of the film:
The Majestic (2001)
Starting Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey DeMunn, Hal Holbrook, Laurie Holden, and Gerry Black
Director: Frank Darabont
Screenplay: Michael Sloane
Release date: December 21, 2001 (USA)
Box office: 37.3 million USD
Budget: 72 million USD
I rate it a dopey 7.8/10
- For feel good sappiness
- For freedom of speech advocates feeling good
- For people who believe government for the people and by the people should not scare and intimidate the people but should help make it better for all and provide a boost so there is a selection of lab grown chicken like cultured meats in every pot to make satay and a electric powered charging solar powered car in every garage parking spot kind of gumption of helping your fellow person when the chips are down and standing up for their rights when need be for everyone no matter race, creed, ethnic group, political group [unless a nazi, Bash the fash], gender, or sex
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