Ideological Analysis Of They Live Movie

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In 1988, the film They Live was released in movie theaters across the country. This movie manages to combine the deep idea that Americans are far too focused on wealth with a testosterone fueled action movie. Some aspects of ideology that are shown in this film fit well with Bill Nichols’s ideas that he wrote about in the eighth chapter of his book Engaging Cinema. Some of the points about ideology that Nichols brings up are used in the film to make the viewers pay more attention toward the action.
The story of the film perfectly matches Nichols’s description of what causes consciousness-raising. Nichols depicts the narrative that leads to consciousness-raising starts when the main character realizes that life isn’t what they thought is was, which causes them to “chat a new path forward” (293). Nada (Roddy Piper), the main character of They Live, originally thought that everyone had equal opportunities to be successful in America until he found out about the aliens that make sure that only certain people succeed,
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Two of the ideologies that Nichols talks about in his book are dominant and alternative ideology. He says that the dominant ideology is the system that has the power and most people agree with (289). On the same page, he says an alternative ideology is the one that, “resist, challenges, or subverts the dominant ideology.” This is the straightforward set of ideologies that film used; it placed the aliens as the dominate ideology and the humans that fought against them as the alternative ideology. Like most action films, They Live uses these two ideologies to make clear protagonist and antagonist; this kind of setup makes it so the viewer is more concerned about who's shooting whom rather than why they are shooting at each other. Only illustrating these two ideologies turns of the viewer’s mind so they can better enjoy all of the random and unnecessary violence that is

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