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Time for a Conservative Uprising in Hollywood By: Jamie Weinstein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 05, 2008

At the end of July, The Washington Times published a story about a group of Hollywood conservatives and centrists who had organized themselves into a sort of "secret society" known as The Friends of Abe. According to The Times, The Friends of Abe are "a loose-knit network of entertainers who share common beliefs like supporting U.S. troops and traditional American values."

The article noted that the group "functioned like a support group, organizing informal gatherings where actors, producers, screenwriters, key grips and other industry types can share common values or discuss concerns like anti-Americanism in Hollywood movies or the perception of industry bias . . ."

A recent meeting of the group at an estate of a California billionaire reportedly drew upwards of 600 people. Members of the group are ferociously secretive for fear that their association with conservative and/or pro-American causes would affect their prospects of being hired for work in liberal Hollywood. 

This is intriguing. It is well known that Hollywood tilts far to the left. But there is no reason conservatives should accept the status quo. Unlike universities, there is no tenure system that necessarily insulates Hollywood from the fluctuations of the free market. Moreover, the universities controlled by liberal academics also happen to be the most reputable institutions of higher education in the world. While major studios have name cache, I don't think that they are entrenched on the top in the same way Harvard and Yale are in academia.

If films with conservative themes are not getting made because of political bias, it is time wealthy conservative and centrist investors team up with members of the Friends of Abe to make marketable movies. The fact of the matter is that there is a gaping hole in the market.

Over the last several years there have been numerous anti-war films produced, nearly all of which have been box office bombs. Even Lions for Lambs, which featured big name stars like Tom Cruise and Robert Redford, was a miserable failure. The only anti-war flick to perform well was Michael Moore's faux "documentary" Fahrenheit 9/11.

There is little question that a well-written movie about America's war against Islamic terrorism, which illustrates the heroism of our troops and the greatness of American values, would be huge hit at the box office. The American public would eat it up. So if liberal Hollywood refuses to make such a film, it is time for conservative Hollywood to seize the opportunity. 

The Weekly Standard's Stephen F. Hayes has an article in the latest edition of the magazine about a new film, An American Carol, by influential Hollywood Producer David Zucker that lampoons the left's foreign policy positions. Zucker, who previously produced such iconic films as Airplane! and Naked Gun, is a new convert to the conservative cause.

Because of his high standing in Hollywood, he was able to get this right-of-center satire made. The cast includes some of the most well-known conservatives in the industry, including Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, and Jon Voight.

If Hayes's piece is any indication, the film has the potential to be very funny, but just as much potential to be a total dud. I hope that it is the former and kills at the box office, but this slapstick-style political satire is not the type of movie on which conservatives should be banking their success.

A new game plan is in order. It is time to create a conservative production company or at least a production company open to conservative themes. Such a production company could make great epics that Hollywood has so far failed to make.

First, conservative investors should fund the production of a pro-American, pro-troops War on Terror flick. There are plenty of great angles from which such a movie could be made. Many books have been written about harrowing tales of American heroism in Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S military. A great screenplay could be adapted from one of these books or from any number of stories that surely exist.

The other glaring hole in the cinematic glossary is a Schindler's List of Communism. We have great epic movies detailing the horrors of Hitler's Holocaust, as we should. But we do not have, to the best of my knowledge, a classic film about the horrors of communism. There are enumerable angles a film of this type could take. Done right, such a film could break the bank.

It's time for wealthy conservative investors to help remake Hollywood. This is not charity. There is every reason to believe that such films could be blockbusters in the same way The Passion of the Christ was. By making these films, and making money from them, there is the potential to shake up Hollywood by creating a new conservative power center. 

Much in the same way that Fox News shook up TV news, a new conservative production company could change Tinsel Town for the better.   

Jamie Weinstein is a syndicated columnist with North Star Writers Group.

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