Beyond the Big Chill : Societal Reflections in the Films of the Sixties and the Eighties
Thomas, Mary Beth
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Using film as a medium, the author compares and contrasts the values and social trends which were prominent during the 1960s and the 1980s in the United States. Special note will be taken of the continuity of values and trends in these two rather distinct decades. The films analyzed for this paper were released in the respective decades which they depict (as opposed to movies made in the Eighties about the Sixties). And, as a final criteria, the fourteen movies analyzed in this paper all attempt to portray real people leading real lives. The Sixties are represented by The Apartment, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, Alice’s Restaurant, Midnight Cowboy, and Easy Rider. The Eighties are represented by Ordinary People, The Big Chill, The Breakfast Club, “About Last Night…,” Lost in America, The Secret of My Success, and Wall Street.