"It's A Wonderful Life" and Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers."

Essay by surfer33University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

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The morals and values of Americans are depicted well in both Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" and Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers." Although they both are trying to illustrate the same thing (American values), the descriptions shown of American values and morals are drastically different from the 1940's to the 1990's. The values and morals held for self, family and community can be contrasted in both films. We will see how these different social relationships of the "true American" change from the 40's to the 90's.

Self as an entity, according to American culture, should be respected, loved, and esteemed. Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" shows this self respect and esteem through the main character George Bailey. In the film George goes through many hardships and comes to a point where he considers taking his own life, after thinking things through he decides to show self respect and esteem by staying alive.

In "Natural Born Killers," the main characters show no respect for their bodies nor do they ever stop and think about the danger they were putting themselves in. The viewer could see clearly the morals that George displayed for self compared to the ones that Mickey Mallory show.

Family is supposed to be one of the highest valued social relationships here in America. The difference in value of family is seen both films. In "Natural Born Killers," the family is never highly regarded. Mallory's relationship with her father is a horrible one. The father obviously did not cherish his daughter and took advantage of her, resulting in his murder later in the film. The opposite effect is shown in the family structure in Capra's film. We can see this when George Bailey as a child risks his own life to...