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November 7, 2010 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Point me toward movies were a rag-tag bunch of outsiders shake up this stuffy small town! I'm looking for the opposite of this question, canonical examples of the Outsiders Cause Chaos In A Small Town trope, from The Music Man to Pleasantville (Or ..The Devil's Rejects). Any genre, any peroid, just so long as a town is turned upside-down, inside-out, or gored to death.
posted by The Whelk to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
The all-time classic most extreme version of what you seek: Dogville.

Brace yourself!
posted by Quisp Lover at 2:57 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


God help me the first thing I thought of was Footloose.
posted by dzaz at 2:58 PM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Somehow I'm certain you've already seen it, but The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is the very first thing that comes to mind.
posted by vers at 3:00 PM on November 7, 2010


The Wild One
posted by grapesaresour at 3:00 PM on November 7, 2010


Perhaps not quite "turned upside down," but Breaking Away is set in a college town in which the ragtag working-class local kids take on the entitled middle-class university jocks at the annual bicycle race, and shake things up a little bit in the process. One of the best "family films" ever... terrific script, great cast, stellar performances.
posted by scody at 3:02 PM on November 7, 2010


The Magnificent Seven?
posted by patheral at 3:03 PM on November 7, 2010


Also, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
posted by patheral at 3:06 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Think it got panned pretty badly when it came out, but Kung Fu Hustle. It is really, really good, very quirky and different. It might fit your criteria for the most part...

A major point of the film has to do with a small village going up against a vicious gang from the larger city nearby.
posted by foxhat10 at 3:08 PM on November 7, 2010


Bye Bye Birdie
posted by awegz at 3:18 PM on November 7, 2010


And here's the link that actually works. Bye Bye Birdie
posted by awegz at 3:19 PM on November 7, 2010


Jumanji, just to go far out to left field.

My kids say, "Anything on the Sci-Fi channel."

Ghostbusters.

Is it Ghostbusters II?
posted by misha at 3:19 PM on November 7, 2010


I suggest A Bug's Life.
posted by hippybear at 3:22 PM on November 7, 2010


Anything based on Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest will do. It's a classic novel on this idea, though it's a single man who destroys the town---with help, but it's not a team. There's Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars, and Last Man Standing, to start.
posted by wdenton at 3:30 PM on November 7, 2010


The Brothers Grimm
posted by two lights above the sea at 3:32 PM on November 7, 2010


Something Wicked This Way Comes
posted by irisclara at 3:46 PM on November 7, 2010


high plains drifter
posted by stuart_s at 3:46 PM on November 7, 2010


Not quite right, maybe, but what about The Wizard of Oz?
posted by cider at 3:48 PM on November 7, 2010


Oh, or Shane?
posted by cider at 3:49 PM on November 7, 2010


Village of the Damned. The "outsiders" are spawn from outer space masquerading as local children, but it's really the same structure.
posted by keener_sounds at 3:53 PM on November 7, 2010


Tremors, if your idea of a rag-tag bunch of outsiders can include giant earthsnakes.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:53 PM on November 7, 2010


Gosford Park. The "town" is the estate of Gosford Park, and the outsiders who shake it up are the guests who show up for the shooting weekend (spoiler: one of the outsiders kills the man of the house)
posted by amethysts at 4:02 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, where the "outsiders" aren't necessarily rag-tag but they definitely shake up the small town!
posted by Lynsey at 4:03 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: The Long Hot Summer completely fits if (like The Music Man) it can be one person (not a bunch) who shakes things up. Paul Newman is awesome!
posted by keener_sounds at 4:20 PM on November 7, 2010


Any Zombie movie...
posted by HuronBob at 4:31 PM on November 7, 2010


Chocolat
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:32 PM on November 7, 2010


It's such a standard plot type with a ton of variations.

The Scarlet Letter
GI Jane (technically not a small town, but definitely an insulated community with a mindset)
Men of Honor (same idea)
Hoosiers
Dead Souls
The Wild Bunch (maybe this isn't the plot of the entire movie, but they definitely shake things up in the beginning)
even The Sound of Music

The more I think about this, the more examples I think of. Like GI Jane, their setting might not be literally a small town, but it's the same story, essentially.
posted by world b free at 4:51 PM on November 7, 2010


Happy Texas
posted by bq at 4:54 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Playing for Keeps -- typical conservative establishment versus idealistic youth story where some NYC teenagers inherit an old hotel and transform it to a teen hangout. I was an extra in this film (cut out of the scene) in this film when I was ten. Also one of Marisa Tomei's first roles.
posted by buttercup at 5:05 PM on November 7, 2010


One scrappy outsider rather than a ragtag band:

Pump Up the Volume
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:06 PM on November 7, 2010


Pleasantville
posted by Addlepated at 5:09 PM on November 7, 2010


I'm thinking of Six Pack, but my memories of it are clouded by at least a decade between me and my last viewing of it.

I should netflix that.
posted by bilabial at 5:57 PM on November 7, 2010


Blazing Saddles. "...we go a-ridin' into town, a-whompin' and a-whumpin' every livin' thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:02 PM on November 7, 2010


The more I think about this, the more examples I think of. Like GI Jane, their setting might not be literally a small town, but it's the same story, essentially.

The Small Town aspect is pretty important cause you're right, Outsider Shakes Things Up is too big a topic. I'm collecting these to find cliches in the Small Town Gets Shaken Up trope: The Prude, The Law, The Rebellious Teen, The Corrupt Mayor, The Repressed Who Blossoms etc.
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 PM on November 7, 2010


Animal House.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 6:16 PM on November 7, 2010


Picnic

The Rainmaker

And of course if you wanted something literary, there's The Cat in the Hat, in which the cat is chaos and the fish is the law and the prude. I love that fish.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:28 PM on November 7, 2010


Taking Woodstock
posted by cazoo at 7:19 PM on November 7, 2010


If you're looking for cliches you might want to look at the movie "Cool as Ice." The whole movie is basically a bunch of cliches of the type of movie you're talking about and stars acting superstar Vanilla Ice.

The movie itself is almost bad enough to be entertaining including such gems as "Drop that ze-ro and get with a he-ro."

The IMDB and wikipedia both call it a remake of "Rebel Without a Cause." I didn't know that until just now and I've never seen it but I haven't seen it suggested yet so that might be a good one to check out to talk about as the source for some of the cliches that show up in the Vanilla Ice version.
posted by VTX at 7:57 PM on November 7, 2010


State and Main
posted by mkultra at 7:58 PM on November 7, 2010


The classic kung-fu film Millionaire's Express (AKA Shanghai Express).

Also - point of order - Kung Fu Hustle was by no means critically panned when it came out. (Metascore 78.)
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 7:29 AM on November 8, 2010


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