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Social Psychology FILM Assignment
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30 POINTS - Social Psychology FILM Assignment - Due at midnight April 21

PSYC Movie Assignment
(30 points) DUE April 21


Please select one of the movies listed below. Review the following questions before viewing the movie. After you have viewed the movie, prepare a brief essay – Use Moodle to submit your assignment.

Essays less than ¾ page or longer than 1 page may result in point deductions. 

NOTE: You should review your class notes and/or textbook chapter for Social Psychology before responding to the questions – it may even be helpful to have the book or notes in front of you when viewing the movie. Choose a film you have not seen before.

1. Provide a brief description or synopsis of the movie. (1 or 2 sentences)

2. Which Social Psychology topics are illustrated in the film? Using your textbook or lecture notes for examples, list several topics you observe. Examples may include: self-esteem, self-presentation, attributions, attitude change, attraction, friendship, love, aggression, prosocial behavior, group behaviors, prejudice/discrimination/stereotypes, conformity, compliance, and/or obedience.

3. What would you describe as the “turning point” in the film from the standpoint of social psychology? This may include a major change in social relationships, a character who learns a valuable lesson about society or relationships, or an obvious incident involving one of the topics from the chapter.

4. What did you like and dislike most about this film? (1 or 2 sentences)

I want you to use your material in PSYCHOLOGY, SPECIFICALLY SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY in your paper to describe the film!!
Choose from this list: 


Adaptation (2002)
Before Sunset (2004)
Casablanca (1942)
Closer (2004)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
ET (1982)
Finding Neverland (2004)
The Godfather (1972)
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
I ♥ Huckabees (2004)
The Incredibles (2004)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
The Laramie Project (2002)
Lone Star (1996)
Needful Things (1993)
Philadelphia (1993)
Ray (2004)
Rear Window (1954) (Alfred Hitchcock….If you don’t watch this one for the assignment, try to watch it in the future!)
Sense and Sensibility (1995) *******
Sideways (2004)
A Simple Plan (1998)
Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Spellbound (Hitchcock, (1945)
Trading Places (1983) ********
Unforgiven (1992)
The United States of Leland (2003)
Vera Drake (2004)
A Very Long Engagement (2004)
Victor/Victoria (1982)
Working Girl (1988)


The Prince of Tides (1991)  ********
Stuck in a loveless marriage with a wife (Blythe Danner) who feels nothing for him, and unable to move forward with his life, he is suddenly jarred out of his lethargy when he travels to New York because his twin sister (Melinda Dillon) has just tried to kill herself. In New York, he meets her psychiatrist, Susan Lowenstein (Barbra Streisand), who is married to a snobbish husband (Jeroen Krabbe). Susan and Tom become attracted to each other out of their loneliness. As his relationship with Susan blossoms, Tom learns to deal with his mother Lila (Kate Nelligan), who is the sole emotional center of his life. In the past, Lila was married to an abusive alcoholic. When she left her first husband, she married a rich man whose abuse was mental rather than physical. Tom hates Lila, but he can't free himself of his attachment to her.

Mr. Jones (1993) ********
There are also serious questions about "madness" touched on in the film - where does individual personality end and illness begin? To what extent is insanity a logical response to an intolerable situation? Perhaps these were originally to be explored in a little more depth.

Here are some more from which to choose.

12 Angry Men (1957)
Henry Fonda stars in this interesting drama about twelve jurors assigned to determine the fate of an alleged criminal. When the jury deliberations begin, eleven of the jurors are convinced of the man’s guilt, but one juror’s persuasive efforts force each of them to consider the evidence as well as any prejudices and stereotypes they may hold. The film aptly illustrates the concepts of social pressure, conformity, and group decision-making.

Accused, The (1988)
This movie is based on a true story about a young woman (Jodie Foster) who goes into a bar and is gang-raped by three men while numerous bystanders cheer and others do nothing to save her. The film is based on her attorney’s (Kelly McGillis) attempt to get justice by prosecuting the bystanders. The film portrays what can happen in social groups or crowds, as well as the bystander effect and our tendency to blame the victims of crime.

American History X (1998)
In this gripping story about race relations in America, young Danny is destined to follow in his older brother Derek’s neo-Nazi lifestyle. Derek shoots three young black males who are attempting to steal his car, and his experiences during his prison stay cause him to change his outlook on minorities. Meanwhile, Danny is engaging in similar neo-Nazi activities when a black high school principle enrolls him in his course called “American History X,” and assigns him to write a paper about his Derek’s life. The reformed Derek also attempts to steer his younger brother away from the very lifestyle of race hatred he once led.

Antwone Fisher (2002)
In Denzel Washington’s first directing effort, this autobiographical account of the life of the real Antwone Fisher portrays a young Navy soldier who is referred for psychiatric treatment relating to his violent outbursts. Therapy is initially focused on anger management, but the storyline unfolds to reveal a character who must search out his past before he can move forward with his future.

As Good As It Gets (1997)
Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is a romance novelist with obsessive-compulsive disorder who develops a relationship with a waitress (Helen Hunt) where he eats breakfast every day. She caters to some of his OCD traits but also challenges him to get better. His symptoms of OCD are drastically improved due to a combination of medication and finding love. The film also relays his strong prejudices against minorities and homosexuals at the start of the film, features of his personality with also drastically improve.

Big Chill, the (1983)
This comedy drama involves a group of college pals who are reunited years later when one of the members of their group commits suicide. The individuals in the story all find renewed meaning in their lives and re-establish old bonds in ways that are consistent with the Baby-Boomers generation. The film focuses heavily on interpersonal relationships, including friendship, attraction, and love.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones, portrayed by Renee Zellweger, is a 30-something single British woman searching for someone to fulfill her needs for love and intimacy. This film provides some insight into the struggle of single women who want to find security and comfort but also desire independence and success, and the characters illustrate how convoluted the dating game can really become.

Chocolat (2000)
Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter move into a quiet, self-disciplined town governed by the local Catholic church and the mayor (Alfred Molina), who is not pleased when she opens a chocolate shop just in time for Lent. Despite his threats and attempts to run her out of town, the townspeople find themselves drawn to her confectionary delights, though they also feel compelled to conform to the laws of their repressive society. The film provides an interesting portrayal of the roles of conformity, obedience, prejudice and discrimination in society.

Few Good Men, A (1992)
This is a military courtroom drama about two marines who are charged with the murder of a third marine in an apparent hazing incident. Tom Cruise stars as the legal defense for the two marines, and Demi Moore assists him on the case. The defendants assert they were following orders, and the colonel (Jack Nicholson) denies any knowledge of orders being given. This film illustrates the issue of obedience to authority figures

The Horse Whisperer
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams plays a man who decides to dress up as a woman to become a housekeeper for his ex-wife in an effort to get to spend more time with his children. The film explores the impact of divorce and its many consequences on family systems, as well as the importance of parent-child relationships.

Pay It Forward (2000)
A touching story about Trevor (Haley Joel Osment), an 11-year-old who comes
up with a unique way to change the world. As part of a school assignment, Trevor comes up with the idea to do a kind thing for three different people and take nothing in return; instead, you ask them to “pay it forward.” This film emphasizes the issue of prosocial behavior, and Trevor provides the ultimate example of altruism near the end of the film.

Philadelphia (1993)
Tom Hanks stars as an attorney with AIDS who sues his employers for wrongful termination, and Denzel Washington plays his lawyer. The film illustrates the prejudices faced by homosexuals and individuals with AIDS. Of special interest is the point at which Washington’s character recognizes the parallels between their experiences with prejudice and discrimination.

Pleasantville (1998)
A high-tech television remote control zaps two teenagers into the 1950’s sitcom they are watching. Their presence in “Pleasantville” causes the characters’ worlds to turn upside down in strange and unusual ways. The film illustrates the issues of conformity and obedience as well, with the townspeople mesmerized by the changes they are undergoing despite strong protests by city officials.

Schindler’s List (1993)
Based on a true story, this award-winning film by Spielberg tells the story of a man who originally saw Naziism as a way to earn money, as he hired Jews to work for free in his plant. However as the film progresses and he sees how Jews are being treated, his conscience takes over and he begins taking many risks, hiring as many Jews as he possibly can. Schindler is credited with saving the lives of over 1,000 Jews even though his efforts to save them caused him to lose his fortune, which provides an obvious example of prosocial behavior and altruism.

Time to Kill, A (1996)
Samuel L. Jackson portrays a father who takes the law into his own hands when the men who brutalized his young daughter are not adequately punished. The film contrasts two types of aggression, one aimed at harming another and possibly racially-motivated, the other aimed at revenge for a terrible injustice. Numerous social psychology concepts are illustrated in this film based on a best-selling novel by John Grisham.

Tootsie (1982)
Dustin Hoffman stars as an actor who must live as a woman to earn a role on a soap opera. The film explores several issues relating to gender roles and relationships.

Village, The (2004)
A film about a pastoral village in Pennsylvania where the natives live in peace,
except for the demonic creatures believed to reside just outside their borders. Over the years the community develops a very restrictive existence based on fear, and their beliefs are passed through the generations via expectations of conformity. When one of the villagers is dying and needs medication from the outside world, one brave young man (Joaquin Phoenix) decides to leave the village and risk everything. The film, which illustrates the effects of group leadership, membership, and conformity, has a nice surprise ending.

What Women Want (2000)
Mel Gibson stars as an advertising executive who develops the ability to really know what women are thinking and feeling. The film provides an interesting look
at gender roles, and the misperceptions men and women often have about each
other, as well as the topics of love and attraction.

Wild Hogs (2007)
An all-star cast portrays a group of middle-aged men who long to escape the stress of their daily lives and embrace the open road – as leather-clad bikers. They quickly learn that their road trip brings more than they can handle when they encounter a real biker gang whose members do not take kindly to the biker wannabes. This film illustrates several psychological concepts, including relationships, self-presentation, stereotypes, aggression, and conformity.


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