The Movie Waffler From online bingo to old ladies: stereotypes in the movies | The Movie Waffler

From online bingo to old ladies: stereotypes in the movies

From superheroes to bronzed babes, you don’t have to look far for stereotypes in the movies. Sex, nationality and age are all referenced and indeed lampooned in today’s big blockbusters.

Take for example, Johnny Knoxville’s hilarious Bad Grandpa. While in most scenes Johnny surrounds himself with younger types, there is a very memorable moment in which our favourite grandpa goes to play bingo, surrounded by women of a similar age. This plays perfectly on the stereotype that bingo is a game for oldies, whereas in reality it has a target audience of online players through bingo websites.

Of course, movie stereotypes are not always a bad thing, and Johnny’s interpretation of 86-year-old Irving Zissman even earned him an Oscar nomination for best make up. Here’s a look at some other movie stereotypes which made a big impact on Hollywood.

The action hero

Ruthless, muscled up and unashamedly good looking – the classic action hero has inspired teenage boys since the action genre was thought up. Take Bruce Willis’ John McClane, for example – the 1988 Die Hard earned a respectable four Oscar nominations, and its classic catchphrases still live on to this day.

Memorable lines and classic good looks seem to do well for a film’s longevity, including the Bond franchise. To date the Bond films have racked up a total of 10 Oscar nominations, while Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale made a grand total of $594.2 million.

The beauty queen

Lean, mean and beauty queen – the quintessential most popular girl in high school role has cemented some of the most memorable films in history. In 1976, while Sissy Spacek took the lead role, Stephen King’s Academy Award-nominated Carrie would not have been the same without high school bitch Chris Hargensen, played by Nancy Allen. Poor Nancy did not receive any nominations herself, but her combination of classic beauty and an acid tongue made her a character we loved to hate.

In present day, the unforgettable catchphrases of Mean Girls have long surpassed its original 2004 release date, with queen bee Regina George delivering some of the most memorable herself. The primped to perfection prom queen was the perfect high school villain, whose best quotes include that infamous phone call scene – ‘boo, you whore!’ Rachel McAdam’s wonderful performance was rewarded with an MTV Breakthrough Female Award.

The nerd

No Hollywood hit would be complete without its trademark nerd, be it James Bond’s Q or Grease’s Eugene. Few are more appropriate for the title of nerd king than Rick Moranis, however, whose bumbling portrayal of Louis Tully added a whole host of extra laughs for Ghostbusters in 1984, which stacked up a variety of Golden Globe, Oscars and BAFTA nominations.

Fast forward to 2004 and usually-good-looking John Heder was stepping into the shoes of Napoleon Dynamite, the socially confused high school nerd who had no qualms dancing to Jamiroquai in front of the whole school. The movie earned Grammy nominations and three MTV Award wins.