While Hollywood is undeniably liberal, every now and then it produces a movie that defies the trend of movies pushing left-wing propaganda. There are lots of lists of conservative movies out there based on a wide range of criteria.
It’s easy to point to a Christian film, like God’s Not Dead, or an anti-abortion movie like Gosnell and say “Here’s a conservative movie,” but even movies like that, even those that defied expectations and became successful, had a target audience. All too often, conservatives want to lump movies that are Christian or pro-military as conservative because conservatives tend to enjoy those movies. Other times, movies that really shouldn’t qualify as conservative get included. For example, there’s nothing conservative about the movie Chappaquiddick, the 2017 biopic about Ted Kennedy’s infamous drunken drive off a bridge that killed passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, has appeared on a list or two.
So what about movies that aren’t political, but which conservative themes still managed to come through? There are quite a few, to be sure. Below I’ve listed what I think are the five best examples that I’ve seen.
Ghostbusters is a classic. A favorite from my youth. There’s really nothing political about this movie, save for just a few lines of dialogue and a plot point revolving around government overreach. The film begins with the parapsychology research professors played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis being kicked off the Columbia University campus after losing their grant. So, they decide to go into business catching ghosts. But, before they do so, Ray Stantz, played by Aykroyd, remarks how much he liked working in academia. “They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”
Later in the movie, the successful Ghostbusters are visited by the Environmental Protection Agency, which threatens to shut them down. Eventually, they do, and by doing so, unleash all the ghosts they captured on the city. A perfect demonstration of the evils of the nanny state.
This surprise indie hit had an impressive box office performance and despite a bizarre soundtrack, is a heartwarming yet comedic tale of a high school sophomore who gets pregnant by her best friend. There literally would be no movie if the title character, Juno, (played by Ellen Page) had gotten an abortion. While one could argue that choosing not to have an abortion doesn’t qualify the flick as being conservative, a significant portion of the film revolves around her initial decision to end the pregnancy, including a visit to an abortion clinic where Juno encounters a classmate protesting outside who makes Juno realize that she is actually carrying a person, not just a lifeless cluster of cells, at which point Juno leaves the clinic, still very much pregnant, and proceeds to carry the baby to term and give the child up for adoption.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the writer of the movie, Diablo Cody, had no intention of writing a pro-life movie, but she did.
Rudy might just be the greatest feel-good sports movie of all time. And yet, it’s not really a sports movie, is it? Yes, the movie, based on the real story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, is about his lifelong dream to play football at Notre Dame despite his academic and athletic mediocrity, but it’s not a football movie. It’s a movie about overcoming obstacles and working hard to achieve your dream—whatever it is. There isn’t an ounce of politics in this movie, but the conservative value of working hard to achieve your goals is undeniable.
Does Rudy become a star football player? Nope. But, his heart and drive catch the attention of the coach and he manages to get on the team as a backup. In the end, he only gets to dress for one game, but he nevertheless achieved something pretty much everyone around him said would be impossible.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Another biographical film, this movie stars Will Smith as Chris Gardner, a homeless salesman trying to make a better life for him and his son. A chance encounter gives him the opportunity to be an unpaid intern competing for a position as a stockbroker, and he works tirelessly to make his sales calls more efficient and impress clients. Conservative values serve as the foundation of this story. In addition to hard work, Gardner’s devotion to his son motivates him on his journey to success. Despite their dire situation forcing them to sleep in a subway station bathroom or homeless shelters, there’s an undeniable lack of victim mentality. “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it,” Gardner tells his son in the movie. “You want something? Go get it. Period.”
Lean on Me (1989)
This movie stars Morgan Freeman. You’ve probably heard him narrate a campaign video for a Democrat presidential candidate in the past. He’s a liberal, no doubt, yet, he portrayed Joe Clark, the famed principal of Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey in the 1989 film Lean on Me.
The real Joe Clark was, indeed, a Republican, but there are no politics in this movie. Still, Joe Clark’s pro-discipline approach and no-nonsense attitude takes a decaying inner-city school of mostly African American students who mostly cannot pass the state’s minimum basic skills test and transforms it.
Upon taking over as principal of the school, Joe Clark tells the students what he expects of them. “My motto is simple: If you do not succeed in life, I don’t want you to blame your parents. I don’t want you to blame the white man! I want you to blame yourselves! The responsibility is yours!”
Of course, despite his efforts to turn the school around, he gets resistance from angry parents who don’t approve of his methods and the school board. Clark defies the expectations and resistance of the school board and restores pride and dignity to inner-city students and ultimately achieves success.
Have any more suggestions? Let’s hear them in the comments.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.