Need films in which someone knows something important but no one believes them.
June 24, 2009 8:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for films in which someone knows something important but no one will listen to them. Sarah Conner in Terminator 2, Rosemary in Rosemary's Baby, Horton in Horton Hears a Who. Others? Obscure or famous; either is good.
posted by mammalian to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Well, Cassandra in The Iliad is a pretty good start. That kinda started the whole archetype.
posted by Shohn at 8:07 AM on June 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

12 Monkeys.
posted by peep at 8:10 AM on June 24, 2009

The ruggedly handsome / strikingly beautiful scientist at the beginning of any disaster movie and most disaster-action flicks. See the Dad in 'Day after Tomorrow' or Jodie Foster in Contact or Pierce Brosnan (sp?) from some volcano movie I saw last weekend. There are probably hundreds of examples of this.

Ripley in Aliens.
posted by anti social order at 8:12 AM on June 24, 2009

Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Matilda (no one believes how horrible the Principal really is.)
Animal Farm
Dark City
National Treasure

and pretty much any dumb horror flick.
posted by JauntyFedora at 8:15 AM on June 24, 2009

Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory?

James Stewart in Vertigo.
posted by notyou at 8:15 AM on June 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

In The Name Of The Father.
posted by pdb at 8:17 AM on June 24, 2009

And James Stewart in Rear Window...
posted by notyou at 8:19 AM on June 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a classic example in the horror genre.
posted by steef at 8:19 AM on June 24, 2009

Arlington Road
posted by ejazen at 8:19 AM on June 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

The Net.
posted by The Deej at 8:23 AM on June 24, 2009

Vanilla Sky, to a certain extent.
posted by helios410 at 8:24 AM on June 24, 2009

Sorry Wrong Number
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:26 AM on June 24, 2009

Independence Day
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:29 AM on June 24, 2009

Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park 1 and 2.
posted by Ladybug Parade at 8:29 AM on June 24, 2009

The John Denver character in "Oh, God"
posted by briank at 8:34 AM on June 24, 2009

They Live - he's the only one who can see the aliens / mind control going on.
posted by GJSchaller at 8:39 AM on June 24, 2009

How about the inverse? Marathon Man!
posted by thejoshu at 8:40 AM on June 24, 2009

Best answer: on Cassandra Truths and Cassandra Characters.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:41 AM on June 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


*Chunk in Goonies (bullet holes)
*Silver Bullet (Cory Haim knows there's a werewolf, no one else believes him)
*Friday the 13th 1 and 2 (Ralph) 6 (Tommy), 8 (Renee), 9 (The Bounty Hunter Dude)
*Freddy vs Jason (the two guys from the mental hospital)
*Halloween (the original with Dr. Loomis)
*Mannequin 1 and 2
*Fright Night (no one believes Charlie when he says the neighbor is a vampire)
*Axel F in Beverly Hills Cop (has hunches the police won't use due to procedure)
*Evan in Evan Almighty (knows about the coming flood)
*John Smith in The Dead Zone (THE ICE ... IS GOING...TO BREAK)
*Terminator 2 was mentioned above but Kyle Reese played this role in Terminator 1.
*Invaders from Mars (no one believes the kid saw aliens)

And perhaps...

An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore trying to convince everyone else)
posted by arniec at 8:53 AM on June 24, 2009

Julius Caesar,
Act I, Scene ii:

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

Act III, Scene I

Caesar: The ides of March are come.
Soothsayer: Aye, Caesar, but not gone.

(They've made a movie out of it)
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:11 AM on June 24, 2009

Oh, and Reginald VelJohnson's character Sgt. Al Powell in Die Hard. John McClane technically also, but at least Powell listens to him.
posted by JauntyFedora at 9:17 AM on June 24, 2009

The China Syndrome

A lot of film noir would satisfy this, where the private investigator knows something no one else does (or "smells a rat") and cracks the case either directly from said knowledge or by using it to build to climax. ChinaTown, for example, to stay on my China trajectory.


A book, not a movie, but Chandler Burr's The Emperor of Scent would be a winner if it was a movie. It follows Luca Turin as he tries to prove that every other person in his field is wrong about how the nose works.
posted by foooooogasm at 9:23 AM on June 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

North by Northwest; Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) denies he's Kaplan, but nobody believes him.
posted by Simon Barclay at 9:24 AM on June 24, 2009

It's pretty much the plotline of almost every disaster movie ever made, from Towering Inferno to Dante's Peak.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:31 AM on June 24, 2009

Troll 2. That movie has everything.
posted by mkultra at 9:35 AM on June 24, 2009

Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. The recent Flightplan with Jodie Foster is based on a similar premise.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 9:36 AM on June 24, 2009

Harry Potter has this theme (Voldemort's return) running through several of the earlier books.

"Dingos Ate My Baby!"
posted by mkultra at 9:40 AM on June 24, 2009

Best answer: I came up with more:

Ghostbusters -- Gozer is coming but no one will listen
Die Hard -- Lady does it sound like I'm ordering a pizza????
WarGames -- No one believes Matthew Broderick's character about the computer
The Fugitive -- this one might be a stretch but no one believes Dr. Kimble's story of the one-armed man
The Net -- Sandra Bullock finds out about a crime but not only will no one listen they are hunting her due to her computer record
Ricochet -- No one believes Denzel's story about Blake
Child's Play -- No one believes the doll comes to life and is evil
Flightplan -- No one listens to Jodie Foster saying her daughter was on the plane
Trading Places -- Winthorpe used to be wealthy, and did not steal money or deal drugs, but no one believes him.
Nightmare on Elm Street -- Nancy knows they're being killed by their dreams but parents and even boyfriend don't believe.
posted by arniec at 9:42 AM on June 24, 2009

The OP asks to name films where NO ONE listens to the person who knows. So that can eliminate a number of the films above... Rear Window; It wasn't too difficult for Stewart's character to make the nurse believe him. National Treasure; the sidekick believes Cage from the start, North by Northwest; the Government agents believe him ( we know that, but the rest of the movies characters including Grant don't until much later in the film), They Live; a bunch of people have the sunglasses, Oh God; well there's God, Independance day; it took like two minutes to convince the President...
posted by Gungho at 9:48 AM on June 24, 2009

Darn near every Hitchcock movie has some form of this going on.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:49 AM on June 24, 2009

Me thinks you're being too literal Gungho. Look at the OPs examples. T2, John Connor believes his mom, as does the Terminator. And to your Oh God example with God believing John Denver, in Rosemary's Baby the husband knows he was helping set up satan's spawn.

I think you take "no one" too literally for this case, but maybe the OP can clarify. If it's truly NO ONE then the only situations that would fit would be cases where no person is involved in the piece of knowledge (so no knowing that person X is a criminal/vampire/witch/alien/etc). So you're limiting yourself 100% to time travel and natural disaster stories.
posted by arniec at 9:57 AM on June 24, 2009


Seriously. No one believes the one man in town who knows about the killer slugs.

Killer carnivorous slugs...
posted by krisak at 10:01 AM on June 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Jacob's Ladder
The Manchurian Candidate
posted by orme at 10:07 AM on June 24, 2009

Twilight Zone, The Movie - The creature on the wing of the plane story!
posted by orme at 10:09 AM on June 24, 2009

krisak: You're the other person who saw Slugs?
posted by bDiddy at 11:18 AM on June 24, 2009

I disagree with the premise of the OP regarding Rosemary's Baby. Rosemary doesn't know anything--she suspects something. She thinks something. If she knew it and no one believed her it would be another stupid movie like the gazillions where the audience thinks, "Why won't anyone believe her--she's obviously right!" and we wait around for 20 minutes for the plot to catch up to us. Rosemary's Baby is brilliant because there's no reason for anyone to believe her. Her accusations--even though they turn out to be correct--are absurd. The audience finds out that her suspicions were correct at precisely the moment she does, which is why it's a fuckin' classic. The movie works so well because we want to believe her because we like her but we don't want to believe her because it's the spawn of Satan for Chrissakes!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:24 AM on June 24, 2009

Joanna in The Stepford Wives.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:33 AM on June 24, 2009

The Twilight Zone wing-walker is actually a remake of a classic episode, starring a young William Shatner - I can think of a few more episodes with similar themes, where the "subject" sees / hears / knows something that no one else does, isolating them and making them question their sanity.
posted by GJSchaller at 11:38 AM on June 24, 2009

Jaws. Chief: There is a killer shark out there. Town Council: Stop scaring tourists.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 11:38 AM on June 24, 2009

Tremors (Ah, yeah. Kevin bacon FTW!)
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 12:11 PM on June 24, 2009

Response by poster: ya, I need this for brainstorming purposes, no need to debate minutiae. Please interpret this request loosely. thanks. any films featuring that loose situation would be great. thanks so much for all the suggestions so far.
posted by mammalian at 2:43 AM on June 25, 2009

Miracle Mile.
posted by Del Chimney at 4:53 AM on June 25, 2009

Eagle Eye

but please don't waste your time watching it.
posted by mohrr at 5:15 PM on June 25, 2009

A Series Of Unfortunate Events
posted by rollick at 10:52 AM on June 30, 2009

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