5 Old Movies That Address Difficult Subject Matters

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - Old Movies

There is an element of storytelling in old films that seemed pure especially when the actors had to work on films that address some tough subject matters. If you are a fan of ole school movies, especially those in black and white, you may have your own list. The below list of movies are considered some of the best.

Inherit The Wind

Inherit the Wind (1960)
128 min|Biography, Drama, History|August 30, 1960
8.1Rating: 8.1 / 10 from 24,862 usersMetascore: 75Passed
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

The movie address early ignorance about the theory of evolution and how it counters the biblical theories preached by the church. The teacher played by Dick York (Bewitched) is accused of breaking a state law that forbade teachers to teach the theory of evolution in public schools. Although this movie tackles one mans struggle of freedom to think, it brought us other issues that are afflicting society. Spencer Tracey plays the lawyer who defends the teacher against his friend who is the prosecutor. This movie brings to light how grandstanding against an issue that contradicts the bible can influence public policies. This was an issue when this movie was made, and it is still an issue today.

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
108 min|Comedy, Drama|December 12, 1967
7.8Rating: 7.8 / 10 from 35,471 usersMetascore: 63Not Rated
A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

This movie address what was and may still be considered a huge problem in American society. Interracial or multicultural relationships caused many couples to face discrimination or even pay the ultimate price of death for the sake of love. This movie demonstrated how one family came to grips with the fact that their daughter is in love with and will marry a black man. Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracey and Kathrine Hepburn gave brilliant performances in this film. The dialogue was not overwhelming, but precise to the issues that the couples may face. It came at a time when the world was not ready for change, although it was demanded by those who lived in oppression and those who support equality.

A Raisin In The Sun

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
128 min|Drama|August 24, 1961
8.0Rating: 8.0 / 10 from 6,362 usersMetascore: N/AApproved
A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Before George Jefferson got rich and moved up to the East Side, Sidney Pottier and Claudia McNeil address family issues and how a family inherence can affect a family. The biggest problem the family faced was being black in America and being forced to work as domestic servants or other service related jobs. The complexity of the family relation was demonstrated well on screen in every emotion portrayed by the actors.

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
129 min|Crime, Drama|March 16, 1963
8.3Rating: 8.3 / 10 from 275,329 usersMetascore: 88Not Rated
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

This movie tackles several stereotypes and misconceptions about people in general. In one instant the young characters are afraid of because of a monstrous description of one of their neighbors, but also sympathize with their father who is representing a black man who was charged for a crime he did not commit. This movie came at a time when African American family values were not being considered by wider American society. This was clear by the horrific criminal acts that were being committed by hateful individuals while the majority of the society turned a blind eye. Atticus Finch played by Gregory Peck had hopes that the men on the jury could use logic to guide their decisions because it was clear the man was only accused of the crime because he is black. The real culprit was the accuser who later attempt to hurt the young characters who was saved by the neighbor they thought was a monster.

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men (1957)
96 min|Drama|April 10, 1957
8.9Rating: 8.9 / 10 from 605,433 usersMetascore: 96Not Rated
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Speaking of men on jury. This movie was one of the great demonstrations of the concept of old white men making decisions. One thing to note, this movie did not have a diverse cast, however one thing it did well was provide a window into the jury room. It addresses most issues such as bullying, stereotypes, bigotry, and hate among the jurors. This was an example of how people who are not thinking about the evidence in a case and uses their own opinions to decide the fate

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FiWEH life staff writers provides breaking news, entertainment, music, videos, fashion, politics and culture Infotainment for the Caribbean diaspora worldwide.
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