The Story Behind the Story; Favorite Metaphors in Films


I love when a story isn't just on the surface so I wanted a thread about some of the MoFo's favorite film as a metaphor or just scenes in films that have more to say than what's on the surface.

My first is probably pretty strange, but it's one that I saw when I was a kid and it has really struck me over the years because of what it has to say. It's the part in An American Tale where the mice are singing No Cats in America. It's such a strange song about hope in a new future that paints a very odd picture on immigration. The idea that the grass is greener on the other side of the ocean along with the delusions of a land with streets paved in gold and no cats seems to have so much more to say than a silly song in a children's film.

My second is more recent. Inception. I love the idea that the film is a giant metaphor for the film making process. I love that each character can be broken down into a specific role in the development of a film. Forming a metaphor of the chaos of your life into a summer blockbuster is just awesome, IMO.

What are some of your favorite scenes or films that play as a metaphor or just act as something more than what's on the surface?

I've bigged it up over the past few weeks but here I go again...

The whole film, during its running time, succesfully turns Westerners (like me) against Western values ie; If it doesn't belong to you and it's valuable, simply take it, by force if necessary.
It opened my eyes to overall human nature in the process too.

The metaphor is the entire film too. The planet 'Pandora' is quite simply, a Pandora's Box. There's so much to discover while watching the film. Not just physically either. There are little 'Pandora's Box Secrets' and metaphors within the storylines and plots too, particularly with the name of the film, 'Avatar'.

Very cleverly put together on many many levels.
Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'

So many good movies, so little time.
I've really like The Crucible (1996) which took a look at the Salem witch Trials of 1692, but was really discussing the events surrounding Senator Joe McCarthy and by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) of the early 1950's.

Paul Scofield (as Judge Danford) says "A person is either with this court or against it. There is no road between. This is a new time. A precise time. We live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed with good, and befuddled the world. Now, by God's grace the good folk and the evil entirely separate."

The Crucible, written in 1952 by Arthur Miller still warns us today against the dangers of curtailing individual freedoms for the supposed good of the majority.


"Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others."- Groucho Marx