'Sixteen Candles' and 'Soul Man' named among 50 most racist movies of all time
Sixteen Candles and Soul Man are just two of 14 movies from the '80s named among the 50 most racist films of all time, according to a new ranking by Complex.com.
The John Hughes classic ranks No. 5. And Soul Man lands at No. 3. Okay, I get the whole "Long Duk Dong" theory behind Sixteen Candles. But Soul Man? The whole point of that movie is that C. Thomas Howell's character is unknowingly racist from the start -- "It's the Cosby decade!" -- but learns more about race relations than he bargained for by the end.
Never mind that Disney's Song of the South -- so ridiculously racist that it's not even available for sale anymore -- ranks No. 9 on the list. Oddly enough, Breakfast at Tiffany's is No. 1. I don't want to say that Complex.com got the wrong movies. But they definitely have them in the wrong order.
Here are all the '80s movies on their list, along with their own comments about the racist content:
3. SOUL MAN (1986): "When '80s funnyman C. Thomas Howell (we're assuming the "C." stands for "Cracker") can't afford to pay for college, he puts on blackface and steals a scholarship designated for minorities."
5. SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984): "John Hughes' icon of '80s teen cinema is also an icon of American racism, thanks to the infamous exchange student Long Duk Dong."
14. SCARFACE (1983): "What's worse than having an Italian-American play a cartoonish Cuban gangster with a ridiculously over-the-top accent? Having everyone, including Latinos, think it's the coolest movie since Birth of a Nation."
15. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984): "And you thought Al-Qaeda were scary."
16. THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY (1980): "In the first ten minutes of the movie, a bushman from Botswana—a country with six technical colleges—is completely dumbfounded when a Coke bottle thrown from a plane(!) lands in front of him. So the flying machine was OK, but the glass bottle blew his mind?"
23. ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (1987): "When a lily-white babysitter (Elizabeth Shue) journeys to the ghetto to rescue a runaway friend who's stuck in the heart of darkness, she and the kids she's caring for encounter the full spectrum of black people, from car thieves to gang members, and even the kind that sing and dance!"
29. MAJOR LEAGUE (1989): "Before becoming America's first Black President on 24 back in 2001, Dennis Haysbert played Pedro Cerrano, a voodoo-lovin' Latino power hitter with a shrine to the spirit Jo-Bu in this subtly racist sports film."
33. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION (1983): "According to this classic Chevy Chase comedy, your vacation is doomed if you pass through the inner-city because black people will not only harass you, they'll also strip your car and swindle you out of money."
34. DRIVING MISS DAISY: (1989): "Proving once and for all that there's nothing quite as awesome as benevolent whites, DMD shows black folk the benefits of being nice to curmudgeonly old cracker bitties."
35. GUNG HO (1986): Zany Japanese (including one played by Gedde Watanabe, a.k.a. Long Duk Dong) take over an American auto-manufacturing plant and bewilder blue-collar Yanks with their zany Japanese ways (funny accents! chopsticks! public bathing!)."
36. OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE (1987): "If you've enjoyed any John Hughes movie that featured white people irrationally fearing for their lives when around black folks, you've got this banger to thank!"
42. WHITE DOG (1982): "A detestable hatemonger trains a white German Shepherd to attack any black person it sees—why wasn't this one a box office smash?"
46. GREMLINS (1984): "The film's stars, which spawn from a mystical Asian creature called a mogwai, are loud, break-dancing little monsters who devour fried chicken at an unprecedented pace, destroy and devalue property, and even kill good white folks."
47. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986): "It's hardly an ancient Chinese secret that the most populous country in the world, with a cultural legacy thousands of years old, really only excels at doing laundry talking funny marshalling inscrutability and mysticism for untold evil."