Ransom (Ron Howard, 1996)


Rewatched 2nd July 2015


An actually very solid kidnapping thriller with some fantastic supporting cast, both in terms of the kidnappers, and the people trying to get the kid back. However, under the most basic level of class-based analysis, Ransom‘s moral fortitude crumples like tissue paper. I will never forget that reaction shot of the kid seeing the Lili Taylor character’s neck tattoo, and pulling this facial expression that just screams the moral of this film: “PEOPLE WITH TATTOOS ARE BAD NEWS. FEAR THE PROLETARIAT. IGNORE THEIR VERY REASONABLE CRITICISMS OF THIS MULTI-MILLIONAIRE’S ANTITRUST-DODGING CORRUPTION AND BELIEVE THE THROWAWAY LINE THAT IMPLIES ONLY RICH CHILDREN ARE KIDNAPPED AND DON’T THINK TOO HARD ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL POOR CHILDREN WHO ARE KIDNAPPED BY PEOPLE WHO WANT SOMETHING MUCH WORSE THAN MONEY.” Seriously, like, when you think about Hollywood’s awful history of promoting Red Scare and doing business with the Mafia to physically assault union members who would exercise their right to strike and protest working conditions, you do start to realise what the underlying message is and what this film is all about.



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