Monday, January 09, 2006


Snippets and Notes:
"There was a time when I could have had you shot," said the whimpering racist man as he stood among his flowers. The blue-eyed, white-supremist, pansy-man-villain watched in shock as the chief did nothing to arrest Mr. Tibbs as he walked out of the (progressively growing hotter) greenhouse. Only one thing left for a man this offended (and incredibly white) to do; hope the butler doesn't revolt and leave him with no one to bring him pitchers of soft and cool lemonade. Or maybe, say, I don't know, set a group of a Confederate flag-flying white boys after the black man that dared to make him get all teary-eyed. And so off they go to surround the half-human negro that insulted white America (just by being alive and in a nice suit) with pipes and (oh, what's that?) chains.

and now (for something completely different...)
It was hard not to notice that both "Lethal Weapon" and "In the Heat of the Night" had (naked) girls causing problems or that the black men in the aforementioned movies just know how to dress better than the rest of the awfully pale people. Also, like King told us (Neil that is), the black guys in these two movies are smoother and somewhat sweeter. One of these days, those crazy white cops are going to have to learn not to be so rude. Maybe then will Riggs and (possibly) the chief have a chance at love, family, friends, and all that jazz. I'm not too sure they could handle it though and according to all the statistics King mentioned, cops rarely do have happy all-gathered-'round-the-fire families. It's probably for the best since we all saw what can happen to a mild-mannered family man when his darling daughter is threatened...then again that was kind of great, who doesn't want a dad who will turn crazy to rescue you (even thought it's sort of his fault you were in danger in the first place)?

Oh and I liked the pure white woman with the dead husband standing up for the black man (even though I think he can stand on his own but we need at least one pure good woman {though vengeful} every once in a while, right?)

and how about that (as usual completely repressed) sexual tension between Poitier and the white lady (yes, the pure one from above) he comforts?

Understanding Mr. Tibbs: "In the Heat of the Night"

I feel compelled to write about Virgil Tibbs in this blog, but first I want to say a few other things about the film.

First, I loved the Ray Charles music; I think it added a lot to the significance of the African Americans in the film--from Virgil to the cotton pickers and every man, woman, and child in between. Also, I did not think the movie was slow. In fact, this wasn't my first time seeing it, and I still enjoyed it. However, I always think they make too many of the white characters (the males) look alike. I think it can be confusing, especially since so much of the film takes place in the "night," it's already hard to make out faces, details, etc. I don't have a solution to this problem, though, because a good old boy is a good old boy I suppose...

Anyway, moving on to Virgil. I think one of the most poignant moments in the film is when Virgil tells the men that the officers in Philadelphia call him Mr. Tibbs. Although we rarely hear Virgil referred to by any name other than his first, it really is important to remember that above everything, Virgil is accustomed to being treated with the same respect and courtesy as his white counterparts.

So then I have to wonder, why does Virgil put up with the abuse of the south? The most fundamental answer, and perhaps the least problematic too, is that Mr. Tibbs is an expert in homicide and he wanted to solve the case. Okay, fine. But if you start to entertain the idea that he was the prime suspect in the case from the get-go, then that opens a whole new can of worms. Is Virgil solving the case because it's the right thing to do and because he wants to achieve justice and yada yada yada, OR is he more concerned with proving how far off the officers' and chief's original charges were and how incompetent the entire police department is in a town of know-it-all racists? I tend to side with the latter, but maybe that's just me.

I like Mr. Tibbs. He is intelligent, polished, and handsome, but he is also critical, spiteful, and arrogant. Maybe it's the balance between his "good" and "bad" cop sides that makes him likeable, or maybe he's just the best out of a crowd of detestable men.


There are two things about this film which interest me the most; the first is that while we get many different characters and deal with very real and in depth issues of race, we never get clear insight into the characters motives, also the language the writer plays with. Yes, we know the town of Sparta is a racist town, the white folk hate the "niggers","jungle bunnies", "and "monkeys"; hell, they even keep a cotton plantation staffed with black field laborers along with modern machines just for old times sake. But even with the blatant racism the writer does not use racial terms carelessly. The one term that stands out with special meaning is "boy". Throughout the film the white townsfolk and cops refer to Tibbs as "boy" a term which shows him that they think of him as incapable, less than a man, and that they are more important, better even. However, as the story progresses, we see the chief cut Tibbs more and more slack, when he finds out he is a detective, he say "Woods, did you question this man before you arrested him?". It is also keen to point out that the only other black role, the mechanic, is the only other character who calls him man, and illustrates black brotherhood by laughing off the idea of Tibbs staying elsewhere. But Tibbs, had made it clear earlier that this, for him was not about race, he said to the chief "they (the future black factory workers) are not my people, they are yours!". Tibbs is obviously offended by the racism he encounters, but answers with defiance and ability, never dealing it back out, it seems it was all about his personal pride, even the slap from the plantation owner. This is the only motivation one can infer from Tibbs, there is no dialogue from him explaining anything. But back to the "boy" thing; the key moment in this was when he finally broke the case in the chiefs office, and the chief sits up and calls calls him by "man". This is the moment that the chief, who made it clear that while he defened Tibbs at times, never saw him as equal; this is as close as he gets, finally respecting him as a man, perhaps not racially, but as an officer. before he only saw him as "some expert or something", clearly showing no respect, but more of a curiosity, like a beared woman.


I really didn't want to have the same title as everyone else, specifically the name of the movie, so I thought I'd just say "Hi".

Anyways, my first thoughts looking back on the movie include the question, why is it called "In the Heat of the Night"? Granted the murder took place at night, and bad things tended to happen at night from that point on, but is that it? Regardless of the title, I actually enjoyed the movie, it was well done and portrayed a number of important ideas, beliefs and symbols. On the other hand, I also believe that if there are any soundtracks to this movie, they should be taken out and shot. Horrible music.

It was interesting to see the racism and then the reverse racism. The police, and generally everyone else in town was racist and Tibbs had to really complete several significant tasks to earn only marginal respect. On the other hand, it was Tibbs who also wanted little more than to arrest the extremely rich racist who lived on the stereotypical southern estate complete with black workers who looked to be little more than slaves.

What I found hardest to believe were the police officers. It appeared that they had no formal training whatsoever and were more ignorant than they probably should have been. The racism however, I think was portrayed realistically. Also, I think that the plot of the movie became a bit convoluted at the end. How many different people can you arrest for one murder and for how many different motives?

Overall, I liked the movie and it was good to see what it may have been like to experience racism and reverse racism in the south and at that period in time.

"Beverly Hills Cop" and "Lethal Weapon"

Tonight I watched "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Lethal Weapon" back-to-back and came to the following conclusions:
First, it is undeniable that the African American cops have a strong influence on their white counterparts, but I am not certain the same thing is true when the situation is reversed. For example, one could argue that the white cops do not trust, support, or admire Axel until the last 1/4 of "Beverly Hills Cop." Similarly, it takes a good amoutn of time for Martin Riggs to see the merit behind Roger Murtaugh's clean-cut ways, and it is possible to even 'read' their relationship as one in which Riggs only understands/appreciates Murtaugh when he, Murtaugh, too becomes wild and desperate.
Nonetheless, I have to say "Lethal Weapon" is one of my all-time favorite movies, and although it is undeniably more serious than "Beverly Hills Cop" (comedy versus action genre) I appreciate the sometimes serious under tones because they shine light on two very round characters who truly illuminate each other.

In the Heat of the Night

Virgil Tibbs in “In the Heat of the Night” goes against what Heroes in Hard Times scenario of the white male usually being potrayed as the hero. Tibbs can be personified as intelligent, observant, patient, and goal-oriented. Nothing ever seems to faze him. From the time he is first taken into jail by accusation, to when he is being chased he always keeps the same composure and the same tone he always has. No matter how many times he is told to leave Tibbs never gives up until the case is solved. In the end Tibbs comes out solving the case and being the hero, going against Heroes in Hard Times statement.
Sheriff Gillespie is a stereotypical depiction of what a Police Chief for this time period, location would be like. He is a very-by–the book cop, and makes quick accusations, not taking no for answer. Gillespie can be describes as a definite hard- ass. He is a good stereotypical example of how in film cops would treat African Americans.
He makes a quick judgement about Tibbs at first because of Tibb’s race. Tibbs must prove to him not only by his intelligence, but by his personality that he is a good detective and also a good person.
The time period that this film was made in and the way how African Americans were shown suits what Guerro says about how African Americans are portrayed in films. Besides Tibbs, the only other African Americans shown are either picking cotton, or working in the auto-repair shop. The way Tibbs is treated by everyone until he can prove himself also goes along with what Guerro says in Framing Blackness.

In the Heat of the Night

Sidney Poitier’s “In the Heat of the Night” was a classic portrayal of discrimination. Virgil Tibbs, a high credited homicide officer, was wrongfully accused of a crime in which he did not even know had occurred. Instead of identifying himself as a police officer, he cooperates fully with officer Sam. When the Spartan Police office realized that he was really an officer, Virgil did not get rude, I thought that Virgil was more upset about how they framed something like this on him because he had money and because he was black. That was a truly embarrasing moment for them, one in which they deserved. Even though he was discriminated against and verbally abused, he still stood as a professional. He even stays and pursues the case, because he knows what it is liked to be misjudged and knows that the accused are innocent. This action shows what high morals a man like this has. This movie incorporates “Framing Blackness”, with discrimination and hatred of a black man who shows the status of an upper class white person. He even comments about racism when he says that there is “white time in jail, and then there is colored time in jail, and the worst kind that you can do is colored.” In this movie it was the Spartan police who did not play by the books, instead it is left up to the black cop to do so, and he does.
As the movie progresses though, you see a rugged partnership developing between the chief and Virgil. Even the mayor sees this trust developing when he openly asks why he has changed his mind about this case. Overall this movie depicted a time in American Society when not all people were treated equally, and frankly did not have to be since the enforcers of the town were prejudice themselves.

Views on the Heat

After reading Framing Blackness i was really interested in how Sydney Poitier's character was portrayed. I found that I many of the things mentioned in the book were portrayed by Poitier's character. For example, i thought the film was showing that Poitier was weak in comparison to his cop companions. It starts off with him being silently led away without the quick revealing of him being a police officer (which is also a tool that Eddie Murphy used in Bev. Hills Cop), instead of being the confident officer, and even offers to pay for the phone call to his chief after the police's blunder had been discovered. Later Virgil tries to lighten the mood by laughing when the chief threatens to whip him, and trying to relate that to his father? I'm not so sure that african americans in that time would actually laugh at a comment like that and relate it to a family member. Instead i feel that they should be offended and perhaps relate it to the oppression that whites present. With the film opening with Ray Charles i thought that Virgil would be a little bit stronger. There was definitely no romantic interest for him as Framing Blackness also references, but i feel that would have been misplaced in this film, like the character didn't have time. Also, the way that Virgil just kept on wanting to help the white cops, even though they didn't want help and his life kept getting threatened.

On the other hand, in reference to when this film was produced, i thought it was very primitive and a good influencial film. It showed that there was a real problem with the white supremacy, and that this was recognized by white womanhood, when the new widow showed that there was a "problem" in that town. For the film to be a hit even when it showed a black man being smarter than a white man, and for the white cop to defend him, was a great depiction for african americans, giving him respect. He even makes more money than the white cop, and is determined an expert in contrast to a plain cop. However Heroes in Hard Times may determine that this proves the fear that white male cops think the minorities and others are going to take over and are putting them down. Many different things were expressed, but some should be saved in suspense for tomorrow.

They call me Mr. Tibbs....
I was surprised and impressed by this movie. The display of racism, hatred and prejudice was unlike any other movie in the genre. All of the white characters doubted, hated, feared, or belittled Virgil (whose very name links him to classical figures). Sam arrests Virgil without questioning him, the chief won't believe this "colored boy" is a police officer, and is totally incredulous of the amount of money he earns ($169.32). Although Mrs. Cobet ends up supporting Virgil, she originally will not let him touch her, and makes him leave her alone. Virgil is harassed and attacked by white men, hit by Mr. Endecot, and kicked out/begged to return on various occasions.
The movie clearly displays the insecurities of the white community, showing that they always refuse to trust Mr. Tibbs. The only man, who really seems to relate to Virgil, is Harvey, the other outcast. Both men find themselves shut out by society, and find themselves locked in a cell together. Later, the chief opens up to Virgil about his loneliness. It seems that only people on the outskirts, only "others" can trust and talk to Virgil. The rest of the white community cannot move beyond their prejudices. Mr. Endicot still has a plantation, African American servants, and a belief that he can hit, control and use African Americans. The clerk at the diner won't serve Virgil. The town uses Virgil because Mrs. Cobert threatens to leave, and take her husbands company, if the Philadelphian is not kept on the case. Virgil is never accepted because he is black; the rampant prejudice of the period is clear in many scenes, explicit in ways that modern movies shy away from.

But white people are not the only ones who are uncomfortable with Virgil. The local black community doesn’t seem to know what to think. The lady who performs abortions tells him that the police will “steal your soul, chew you up, spit you out”. She doesn’t trust Virgil, and sees him as an outsider just the way the white men see him. The black house servant doesn’t relate to him. Virgil seems to be striving to be white, alienating himself from his fellow black men; yet, he will never be white enough to be accepted by the white community. He finds himself in limbo, not part of either social bracket, a true “outsider”. Yet, Virgil gains respect, and the balance of power seems to shift slightly: the town needs him, and he eventually catches the real killer. And even Virgil himself experiences moments of weakness. The police chief accuses Virgil of being “just like everyone else”: an vindictive, angry and biased man who wants to see guilt in those he doesn’t like. In the end though, Virgil is a much calmer, professional and stoic hero than others in the genre, but a hard character to get close to, or actually “like”. He is, in all aspects, a character stuck in limbo.

Racism makes my stomach hurt

As soon as Virgil Tibbs was apprehended at the train station for no other reason than that he was a black man, the very pit of my stomach started to hurt. This was just the first of MANY moments that caused this reaction. Having grown up in the 90s, my parents raised me to understand that racism is not to be tolerated. In watching the neverending accounts of Tibbs' encounters with racism, I wanted to jump right inside In The Heat of the Night and smack every single character who showed him any disrespect. Aside from being suspected as the killer for no reason, Tibbs was also expected by his boss to work on the homicide case for free to help the racist community of Sparta, Mississippi. Yet no one wanted him there at all.

Though Tibbs is obviously the protagonist and hero cop of the flick, Chief Gillespie tries at every opportunity to assert his dominance over Tibbs and override suspicions, beliefs, and evidences that Tibbs brings to the murder case. Chief tried to send Tibbs home on 2 different accounts after "finding the killer," with which Chief was never correct. The Chief did however show enormous amounts of growing acceptance to working with a Black man throughout the film, showing what had to be rather liberal elements in the movie for the time period. He beats off the 4 white men trying to kill Tibbs, takes a backseat to the officer in the police car while following Sam's run from the night of the killing, invites him into his home, and even carries his luggage to the train to see him off and wish him well. Don't get me wrong, I was very impressed with these elements and believe that they slowly but surely aided in the acceptance of African Americans in the United States by showing citizens that such behavior is ok.

Yet the racial acknowledgements never end in In The Heat of the Night. Harvey, whom Tibbs is locked up with, remarks in the first several seconds with Tibbs, "What you doin' wearin' white man's clothes?" This shows that, especially for the deep south regions of Mississippi, blacks are not seen wearing suits and ties, but rather only whites are. Tibbs even self stereotypes himself when talking with the black mechanic that he would be staying with by referencing himself as Sparta's "whipping boy." Saying this implies that even though he's not slaving away with manual labor, he is still under the white man's control as they begged him to stay and solve their murder case, yet he is ultimately allowed no liberties. Upon meeting Mr. Endicott and sharing an appreciation for orchids, Endicott suddenly eliminates all elements of respect that were seemingly created and begins comparing all Negroes to Tibbs's favorite orchid by saying that they both need care, feeding, picking, and looking after. The ultimate disgrace in Heat was the angry mob of white men sporting Confederate flags on their cars that were determined to track down Tibbs and kill him if they must. This idea was not far fetched to a single one of them, and on more than one occasion they tried to run him off the road, fight him with heavy metal objects, and pointed guns at him. In my opinion, that only goes to show what a disgrace the Confederate flag and everything it stood for is (nicely said as well Alec).

racial oppression

The movie, "In the heat of the Night" which took place around the time of the civil rights movement, illustrated overt racism. Virgil was wrongly accused of a murder b/c of his race, despite the fact that he was nicely dressed and of middle class stature. Presently, our society has shifted from overt to covert racism over the last thirty years. Since racism is not as direct and obvious as it was pre-civil rights people are under the impression that racism is no longer an issue that plaques our society. However, black middle class men face the most obvious racism today. Our scoiety praises those who have succeeded and are living the American dream. As i learned in my State of Black America class, that although middle class blacks have reached society's occuaptional and achievement standards, it is simply not enough. Middle class blacks do no recieve the utmost respect they deserve. Much like Vigil who struggled only to recieve very little respect. In conclusion, no matter how hard they work they cannot be stripped of their skin color and it remains the most prominent feature to the rest of society.

In The Heat of the Night is different than a lot of cop/action movies I have seen. Most of the movies I have seen and we have discussed in class include race and discrimination as a small theme throughout the film, but this film is basically based on it. The character of Virgil is portrayed as a very intelligent, wealthy black man who discriminated simply because he is black. The time period of the film is the 1960’s, when segregation was still an issue in the U.S. Virgil is good at controlling himself, but he has to put up with people thinking he is a criminal, stupid, or good for nothing just based on his race.

I really like Virgil in this movie because he proves to everyone that he is more than just an out of town black man in a suit. In the beginning of the film, we see that the cops and chief do not respect him. He is arrested for no reason, and then makes the chief and Sam feel ashamed when they find out that he’s a cop. One by one, the characters in the movie begin the trust and actually look up to Virgil, because they know that he is much more intelligent and has much more skill than they do. As far as Virgil and the chief as “buddy cops,” I noticed that, like everyone else, it took the chief time to accept Virgil, but by the end he and Virgil were actually friends.

In both books by King and Guerrero, the theme of cops being lonely and without families is discussed. This is also seen in In The Heat of the Night, at the end when the chief and Virgil are at the house, just talking. The chief explains that he has no wife or children, and that he is lonely. Overall, I though this movie was very well made and portrayed black and white cops in a way that I had never seen before.

In the Heat of the Night: Breaking Racial Barriers

In the Heat of the Night really set the ball rolling for black actors, especially for cop films. Even though the civil rights movement had happened just four years before the filming of In the Heat of the Night, the producers were able to reproduce the racial tension of the deep south that still ensued despite the movement. Sidney Portier's character Virgil Tibbs played a powerful role representing a black person who is able to overcome the racial barriers as a superior police officer, while trying to assert himself as an equal rather then just another "nigger" in the eyes of the white folks of Sparta, MS. Still, Virgil Tibbs is still eons from becoming an Roger Murtaugh or Alex Foley.
Unlike Roger Murtaugh and Axel Foley, Virgil Tibbs' character still plays the social role of blacks of the time. Virgil Tibbs is very reserved, bent on gaining character strength by proving white people wrong, but in the end the viewer does not feel the same satisfaction that you would get from watching a movie like Lethal Weapon. Even though Virgil TIbbs solves the mystery, he never is glorified as the hero that black cops in movies today are viewed as. This is because Virgil Tibbs has to subject himself to so much racism, yet the only satisfaction that he receives from all of it is a white trash waiter giving a confession. We didn't even get the satisifaction of watching Endicott getting arrested, which would have been Virgil Tibbs' glory. Its as if Virgil Tibbs voluntarily subjects himself to the racism yet still gets nothing out of it other then proving a few white people wrong.
From the very begginning, Virgil Tibbs character is weakend by the fact that he never represents himself as the supercop that he is. For example, when Sam firsts meets Virgil in the train station waiting room Sam immediately accuses Virgil just because he is black. He lets Sam lable him as another "nigger" especially when he accuses Virgil of stealing all the money in his wallet. This could have been avoided if he explained to Sam that he was a cop.
Another example was when theif who is wrongly accused of murder is first aprehended and brought to the police office. After a brief examination of the suspect, Virgil explains to the other police officers that the suspect was left handed. Once the cheif comes out, the other officers take Virgil's findings and tell it to the chief as it was there own, while Virgil was standing amongst the same white officers whom he just told moments before.

In the Heat of the Night response

I was very impressed with In the Heat of the Night. For some reason, I thought that this was the movie for which Sidney Poitier had received his Oscar for best-supporting actor, and that had angered me since he was obviously the lead role in the film. I was glad to find out, however, that he had actually received that Oscar for Lilies in the Field, which I have never seen. I realize that this all has been fairly irrelevant thus far, but I just wanted to put it up anyway.

What first struck me about the racism portrayed in In the Heat of the Night was how Tibbs’ dress was observed by some but not by others. It is apparent that one did not see black men dressing in such nice clothes on a regular basis in Mississippi during the 50s/60s. When he arrests Tibbs, Wood only sees a black man. The black man’s professional dress doesn’t matter in the slightest, it doesn’t even register. As soon as Tibbs is put in a jail cell, Harvey asks, “What you doin’ wearin’ white man’s clothes?” Suddenly Tibbs’ appearance matters because he is on a somewhat equal level as Harvey – they are both locked away in jail.

The depiction of the extremely racist white men of the South was also quite powerful. The car that chases Tibbs has the stupid Confederate flag on it… Having grown up and attended high school in West Virginia, I’ve seen plenty of that on some very lovely trucks and cars. Despite the fact that West Virginia actually seceded from the Confederacy during the Civil War, that symbol is ever-present. It makes me want to yell, “The war is over! The North won! Live with it!” The pure hatred that the southern men have for Tibbs simply because of his skin color is tremendously evident, and it truly evokes a heated emotional reaction against them.

The difference between the North and South is crystal clear throughout this film. The Mississippi police have such difficulty believing that Tibbs’ is a homicide expert despite the fact that he is clearly so much more intelligent and educated than they. The color of his skin is just too tough a barrier to see through. Perhaps the biggest example of the difference between North and South is the well-known line “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” No one in Mississippi calls him that; it is always Virgil.

Chief Gillespie is dramatically changed by his experience with Tibbs. Even from the beginning he shows signs for his potential to change. Though it pains him to say it, he admits to Tibbs that he’s “not an expert!” Later when he confronts Tibbs in order to persuade him to stay on the case he says, “You’re smarter than any white man; you’re gonna show us all…” The audience does not yet know whether Gillespie believes this, but it again plants the seed for change. He seems to have a revelation after the ordeal at Endicott’s greenhouse when he says, “You’re just like the rest of us, ain’t ya?” And this is even further reinforced when the audience bears witness to Gillespie pouring out his soul to Tibbs., but it is evident that he has not fully changed when he dramatically rejects the pity offered him by the black police officer. There does seem to be at least a superficial change in his behavior toward Tibbs at the very end of the film, though. As Gillespie sees Tibbs off to the train, the police chief is carrying the black man’s suitcase for him before telling him to take care of himself. Tibbs acts as a sort of pioneer in the still developing acceptance of African Americans in the South.

Race & Class In the Heat of the Night

An obvious reference to the film that can be observed initially is the cruel relationship our hero Virgil encounters with the majority of the Mississippi town’s folk. During the time in which the movie takes place and the setting, being in the rural South, it is quite clear why many of the southern men have such a great disliking for the unknown black man in there part of the country. Virgil has many obstacles he must surpass in order to prove his case right. First off, he must avoid the pressure of being the accused. After this dilemma of avoiding being considered the guilty person he takes his own intelligence and experience in the field of murder investigations to make what is right occur. Virgil has two real barriers in the film. The murder investigation is the true conflict of the work, but Virgil’s need to not only stay alive and prove his validity as a brilliant detective are the two true conflicts of the work. This aspect was probably my most favorite element of the film. The use of multiplicity in the genre of conflict. Virgil not only wants to prove the town and the law wrong about his beliefs in the investigation, but he also wants to go “home” to Philadelphia.
An interesting element to this movie is that it is not just about the issues of race, but also class. The murder occurs to a man of dangerous wealth and Virgil himself is a well paid detective from the North. The film grabbed my interest because of all these things which exist. Most of the characters in the movie have a direct motive to the murder due to their detest of what the deceased plans were of. And also most of the citizens of the town would want Virgil dead regardless of his ongoing knowledge within the investigation because most of the townsmen hate black people. The writer and director of the movie do a fine job of spinning a complicated web of deceit within a hatred brought out by men of ignorance.

Blackness in film

What can't I say about "Heroes in Hard Times" that no one has said yet.... it was definitely a tough read. It was nice, however, to have him note more movies I have heard of, as opposed to not.

"Framing Blackness" was much easier to get through, and even though I have never seen great majority of the films he mentioned, having him break them down bit by bit didn't make me feel so alienated from their content. However, I found Guerrero to be overanalyzing many of the aspects of film from movies I have seen. For instance, his interpretation of Gremlins as an attack on minorities and the majority's fear of their uprising seemed an infinitely far stretch to me. I felt like I had arguments against many of the recreated films he's mentioned, such as King Kong, Star Wars, and Zora Neale Hurston's story.

Even in guerrero's analyzation of Beverly Hills Cop, I feel he was off in assessing the true message of the film. While he attacked Murphy's character for stereotyping himself in ways of blackness and gayness, these instances were being tackled in the present time of the creation of the movie. In the late 80's, people began trying to battle stereotyping blacks, and I'm sure many blacks used this to their advantage as Murphy does when checking into the hotel. I think it would do Guerrero some good to go back and analyze what the sociological states of each time period he analyzes were. The films were only portraying popular opinion of each time period. If he were to assess recent films, he'd find far less "dissembled" (p133) self stereotyping than he did in the 90s.

On the whole...

As is my nature, I have put off actually posting until the last minute. Having read the books early in the break, I have found the need to go back and look over the subject matter. Surprisingly, it seems to me that very little sunk in. Heroes in Hard Times took a long time to wade through, and, as a result, I took little from it. I realize that tthe author was reporting his personal study, but commenting on example after example after example tends to wear on the nerves of the reader. He states that the white male usually is the "hero" of a cop action movie. I mostly agree with this, but I found Lethal Weapon to have fairly balanced race/hero roles. Mel Gibson does have the ridiculously long martial arts scene at the end, but it is Danny Glover that takes out the head villan. And in the case of Beverly Hills Cop, Eddie Murphy is the hero; he is a hero that often makes fools of the white cops and acutally brings about change in their society, if you will. Eddie Murphy, needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), is not white. Framing Blackness was also difficult for me to wade through. I think that I was turned off by the author's bias early on. That is not to say that I do not appreciate how far the portrayal of African Americans in movies has come over the decades, but he goes looking for trouble where there doesn't seem to be any.

I can't claim that I have a great grasp on the subject material. I have seen nearly none of the movies mentioned, and, unfortunately for me, I formed mental blocks early in the readings. The two movies assigned to us were enjoyable (minus the music of Beverly Hills Cop...). Despite the difficulty I have had thus far, I am interested to see where this class will lead us in exploring this subject.