Ho hum, time for yet another 60s-radicals-were-misunderstood film

posted at 4:41 pm on March 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

How long has it been since Hollywood came up with an original idea? For that matter, how long has it been since Robert Redford had an original idea? In his latest film, The Company You Keep, Redford plays a radical from the 1960s who has been living under an assumed identity, and who gets exposed when the feds finally nab a co-conspirator. That was already a hackneyed plot device when I first saw it twenty-one years ago in Sneakers, which starred, er, Robert Redford. Four years earlier, the late River Phoenix starred in not one but two films about being the child of fugitives on the run, Little Nikita (parents were sleeper agents for the Soviet Union having a crisis of conscience) and Running on Empty (parents were misunderstood members of a Weather Underground-like organization). In these films and several others of the same ilk, viewers get treated to lectures about how virtuous these revolutionaries were, and how any deaths from bomb-throwing were either accidents, frame-ups, or the work of just a few bad apples in an otherwise glorious effort to free the world.

This time, though, Redford apparently dispenses with the thin veneer of fictional revolutionary organizations, opting instead to paint the Weather Underground with some sympathy. This was an organization, as Sean Hannity and the Boss Emeritus remind us, that murdered several people (and accidentally blew up a few of their own members) in a decade-long stretch of terrorist violence. This description from the Hollywood Reporter review is enough to understand Michelle’s “emetic” remark:

This establishing action is set up with methodical efficiency in Dobbs’ screenplay, gaining momentum when Jim/Nick whisks Isabel out of town and into the care of his brother (Chris Cooper) just as the FBI is closing in. Meanwhile, Ben continues to look for neat answers to messy questions. But a prison interview with Sharon gives him some understanding of the commitment and idealism of the ‘70s radicals. This affecting scene – Sharon shows regret for the mistakes that were made but refuses to repudiate her convictions – is played with perspicacity, toughness and compassion by Sarandon.

“Mistakes”? They built bombs and killed people with them, plotted and conducted armed robberies, and shot and killed people — those weren’t accidents. Plenty of activists had “commitment and idealism” in the 1970s, and do now, but relied on political argument, organization, and engagement in democratic processes. I don’t agree with some, such as Occupy organizers, just as they probably don’t agree with Tea Party organizers. The people being given sympathetic treatment in this instance, though, tried to impose their politics by murder, theft, violence, and terror. They’re not “activists,” they’re terrorists and murderers. The fact that Hollywood keeps trying to rehabilitate these people in the post-9/11 world speaks volumes about their values, especially Redford’s. (via The Right Scoop)


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But remember, it’s the Tea Party that represents the danger to the public. Never forget: we have always been at war with Eastasia.

The Schaef on March 28, 2013 at 4:45 PM

This was an organization, as Sean Hannity and the Boss Emeritus remind us, that murdered several people (and accidentally blew up a few of their own members) in a decade-long stretch of terrorist violence.

Well who hasn’t murdered several people and blown up a few friends? It’s just youthful hi jinx.

rbj on March 28, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Should we start a pool on how little this film is going to make?

Mitoch55 on March 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

And guess who has a new visiting scholar gig? The one and only.

conservative pilgrim on March 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

How long has it been since Hollywood came up with an original idea? For that matter, how long has it been since Robert Redford had an original idea?

Well he did make a movie about fly fishing. That takes some moxie. It’s a damn shame he was just cast in Captain America 2. That’ll tarnish that flick a bit.

Doughboy on March 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

You don’t have to be a weatherman to see which way Diana Oughton’s brains are blowing.

andycanuck on March 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Should we start a pool on how little this film is going to make?

It’s gonna bomb.

andycanuck on March 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

I wonder what Redford would say if the ELF savages were to descend on his Utah ranch and burn it all to the ground in the name of “liberation”.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Toughest thing for a person to do is admit they were wrong.
Ego gets in the way almost everytime.

LincolntheHun on March 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

andycanuck on March 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

is that the Diana Oughton? Bill Ayers college girlfriend? the blew eyed one? Man what a scatter brain.

DanMan on March 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

For the record, Chris Cooper is a total hard core leftard, too.

Blake on March 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

60′s 2.0
–bayam

tom daschle concerned on March 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Ed, don’t forget the Twin Cities’ very own lefty radical-in-hiding — Kathleen Soliah, a/k/a Sara Jane Olsen.

She got a longer sentence than expected by acting like the California court proceedings were one big joke when talking to reporters. If she’d been properly pentitent and reformed, she might have done less time. The judge was not amused.

Part of the fundraising for her defense fund, IIRC, was a cookbook called “Serving Time: America’s Most Wanted Recipes.”

Wethal on March 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Robert Redford is still alive? Who knew?

Pork-Chop on March 28, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Egad. That hair and eyebrows.

And Ronald Reagan was dissed for being “prematurely orange.”

Wethal on March 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Isn’t it racist for Redford to appear in redface? I bet the casino owners are offended.

Flange on March 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM

I hope to one day see Michelle Malkin as White House
Press Secretary…

….the Republican Party gang of Azz kickers is the
All Female Brigade…..

ToddPA on March 28, 2013 at 5:06 PM

The Company You Keep…

Like Obama and Ayers?

Pretty soon, the Dems in Congress will be lobbying for a special Congressional Medal of some sort to be awarded to all those who were part of those golden days of ’68…I mean, being in Grant park was just like being in ‘Nam…what with all those Chicago police rioting and taking down thousands and thousands of innocent students…maybe a million or so…

(OK…that’s Nancy Pelosi math there…like Obama saving tens of millions upon millions of jobs and all that….)

But, for us, today, to even think about calling murdering thugs murdering thugs…well, that must be racist of something, right?

I miss my Nation.

Sure was a nice one, once upon a time in the long long ago.

coldwarrior on March 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

If course Hollywood has to sanitize the actual history, in part because it’s far more violent than legal gun owners have ever been. If i need some movie to ‘educate’ me about the radical Left, I’ll watch The Enforcer. The terrorist leader was a total psychopath who got into killing, while the priest said what truly defines those kinds of people: “Sacrifices have to be made.”

Liam on March 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Can’t wait for the “Stalin Was A Great Guy Once You Got To Know Him” summer blockbuster.

Tim McVeigh gets the needle for bombing a Federal building because he had a grievance against the government.* Bill Ayers bombs a Federal building because he had a grievance against the government and becomes a Progressive god.

* NOT DEFENDING TIM McVEIGH IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. Just showing the hypocrisy.

Resist We Much on March 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

It’s so sad the Weatherman never managed to bomb that dance at Ft. Dix.

You might also ask Ayres and his lovely wife who planted the bomb that killed San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian McDonnell at Park Station on Feb. 16, 1970. Rumor has it that they know more than a little about that (particularly Ayres’ lovely wife).

Realist on March 28, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Running on Empty was a terrific movie. The acting was stellar.

SnarkVader on March 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I miss my Nation.

Sure was a nice one, once upon a time in the long long ago.

coldwarrior on March 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

It’s gone, never to return.

We are poisoned through and through.

All good things…

squint on March 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM

That being said, let’s make the bastards sing for their supper!

squint on March 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Pallin’ around with terrorists.

steebo77 on March 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

They seem to be hiding the cost of production. I see that they only made less than a million is europe which is pretty bad. It opens up next week in the US.

Blake on March 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Hollyweed is all about the “nuance”. If you can call bullshit “nuance”.

GarandFan on March 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Why do I think that Sarandon and Redford would be perfect cast in a new adaptation of Huis Clos? (Sartre’s No Exit for the non-French out there, which had a basic premise of “hell is other people you can’t get away from.”)

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

* NOT DEFENDING TIM McVEIGH IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. Just showing the hypocrisy.

Resist We Much on March 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

At least Tim knew his explosives.

IlikedAUH2O on March 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

THANKS.

Was THAT the point? The Second Empire furniture was doing it for me.

IlikedAUH2O on March 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Sharon shows regret for the mistakes that were made but refuses to repudiate her convictions

Charles Manson had convictions too. Fortunately, and unlike Dohrn and Ayers, he is still serving time for them.

JackOfClubs on March 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Boring.

Two recent movies involving a terrorist assault on the White House — “White House Down” and “Olympus Has Fallen”. Anybody know whether the “terrorists” in these films are right-wing fanatics? I mean, we KNOW they aren’t Islamics.

rrpjr on March 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM

A Tribute!

**************Its SCROTCHED *******************!!

canopfor on March 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM

D*mmitt,where the he*ll,is Woodward on reporting this!!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM

On the positive side, this movie could present a good opportunity to educate young ones about President Obama’s good buddies Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

In the late Sixties, Ayers became a leader of the Weather Underground (WU), a splinter faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Characterizing WU as “an American Red Army,” Ayers summed up the organization’s ideology as follows: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents.” One of Ayers’ fellow WU leaders was Bernardine Dohrn, the woman who would later become his wife.

Read the rest of the info about Bill Ayers here:
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2169

The company President Obama keeps does matter.

wren on March 28, 2013 at 5:49 PM

If they show the Weather Underground blowing up their own Greenwich Village townhouse while building devices to bomb Fort Dix, and cue the whole thing up to Benny Hill music, I might download it off Netflix.

jon1979 on March 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Ed, don’t forget the Twin Cities’ very own lefty radical-in-hiding — Kathleen Soliah, a/k/a Sara Jane Olsen.

She got a longer sentence than expected by acting like the California court proceedings were one big joke when talking to reporters. If she’d been properly penitent and reformed, she might have done less time. The judge was not amused.

Part of the fundraising for her defense fund, IIRC, was a cookbook called “Serving Time: America’s Most Wanted Recipes.”

Wethal on March 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Our Little Terrorist was fawned upon by everyone who was anyone in the DFL. Keith Ellison was a major supporter.

If memory serves, her schtick was interrupted by 9/11, an she was sentenced by a non-nonsense before the Bush Lied, People Died crowd regained the upper hand.

(Actually ran into her once up at the Lund’s in Highland while she was still SJO – still remember the cold, creepy vibes she gave off.)

Bruno Strozek on March 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Note to Hollywood:

If I go to flick about terrorists I wanna see them splattered but good before the credits roll.

Bruno Strozek on March 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Charles Manson had convictions too. Fortunately, and unlike Dohrn and Ayers, he is still serving time for them.

JackOfClubs on March 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Yes, and I believe Dohrn said, shortly before going underground, “Offing the rich pigs with their own knives and forks? The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”

The 60′s radical as hero trope is getting SO old. I remember a Law and Order episode about it back in the 90′s. It was so freaking offensive, with people justifying the murderers’ actions by, “It was the 60′s. You had to be there.” As if being in a particular decade makes murder okay? At the end of the episode, somebody asked, “Are the 60′s over yet?” Given this article, I guess the answer, unfortunately, is still no.

idalily on March 28, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Mrs Grunt once worked on the same campus with Bill Ayers. She came home one day and told me how she had just met a professor who was in a meeting with Ayers, and the professor gushingly told how Ayers was involved in bombing and violence back in the 60′s.

I replied that I was also involved in bombing and violence back then (in Vietnam) but nobody idolized me or my kind for it.

I once told a friend that my goal in life was to outlive Jane Fonda so that I might urinate on her grave. My friend told me that after the military he was not ever going to stand in long lines again.

Special Forces Grunt on March 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Diana Oughton was killed putting together shrapnel bombs for a military dance at Ft. Dix. Gosh, if only openly gay soldiers had been allowed to serve in the military at that time it’s possible this plot never would have been hatched in the first place. Right, Redford?

And the distinguished professor Bill Ayers once forced a young woman to have sex with his black roommate to prove she wasn’t racist (i.e, forcible rape). Social justice!

Buy Danish on March 28, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Soliah’s kid is a singer and even was on American Idol. She’s not bad. However, I read some of her comments excusing her mother’s disgusting criminal actions, so she can go to hell, too.

Blake on March 28, 2013 at 6:39 PM

And guess who has a new visiting scholar gig? The one and only.

conservative pilgrim on March 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

The taxpayers in Minnesota and anybody who is paying tuition to Minnesota State University Moorhead should stage a 1960′s style “teach-in” to educate people about the terrorist past of the man the University selected as a “Visiting Scholar.”

School officials at Minnesota State University Moorhead have selected left-wing radical and admitted terrorist Bill Ayers as the 2013 College of Education and Human Services “visiting scholar,” according to Campus Reform.

Steve Grineski, a professor in MSUM’s School of Teaching and Learning, said that Ayers’ radical past doesn’t bother the school’s administration.

While Ayers received a stipend for his appearance at MSUM, the taxpayer-funded school refused to disclose how much it was.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/23/bill-ayers-is-now-a-feted-visiting-scholar-at-minnesota-state-university-moorhead/

Sunlight is the best disinfectant!

wren on March 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Resist We Much on March 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Great call.

Cleombrotus on March 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM

At least Tim knew his explosives.

IlikedAUH2O on March 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Yeppers. My mum always taught me: If you decide to be a rubbish collector, be the best rubbish collector the world has ever seen.

If you’re going to be a terrorist, at least be a successful one.

Tim McVeigh & Osama bin Laden: “Winners” in their “field.”

Bill Ayers, the shoe bomber, and the underwear bomber: FAILED terrorists. #Winning

Resist We Much on March 28, 2013 at 7:03 PM

They seem to be hiding the cost of production. I see that they only made less than a million is europe which is pretty bad. It opens up next week in the US.

Blake on March 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

But will it be in 3D?

docflash on March 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I fell asleep at the theater when I went to see Sneakers.

southsideironworks on March 28, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Sneakers was a pretty lame film that stole many gimmicks and scenes from the 1965 Rock Hudson government conspiracy film, Blindfold.

Though Blindfold was much better!

Jack Deth on March 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Redford = has been hack. Bob, STFU and STFD. Okey dokey?

College Prof on March 28, 2013 at 9:11 PM

These people had “commitment and idealism” the same way Hitler and Stalin did.

bluesdoc70 on March 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM

How come they never do one of these movies where a former radical realizes the error of their ways and repents?

myiq2xu on March 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Ego gets in the way almost every time.

PRIDE

THE Original Sin…

oldleprechaun on March 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM