# of Tactics?
Influence at the Movies
In the late 1990s, a group of influence colleagues and I developed the following "Top 10" list of movies that illustrate influence techniques. Then we started to rate them as a group (but never completed the task). Our ratings were on a 1 to 10 scale (where 10 is best). V = variety of influence techniques depicted; A = accurate depiction of influence techniques; C = overall cinematic quality. Of course, a lot of influence-related movies have come along since then, but it's hard to get the group together now that we're spread all over the country!
||The Orwellian dystopia in which the government
uses propaganda, the control of information, manipulation of
the language, fear of a common enemy, and a myriad of social
tactics to control its citizens.
|Persuasion you can't refuse. Or is that coercion? Variations on the theme of social exchange. (Violent!)
|A modern film about a seamy family of con artists, mostly
slight-of-hand type cons, yet there's some verbal persuasion
also. Best watched with a bag of oranges and a cigar.
|A sophisticated psychiatrist becomes involved with a con artist and enters his world of crime and gambling. She finds herself drawn to the thrills associated with putting one over on unsuspecting victims. A variety of influence tactics are demonstrated; consistency tactics are well illustrated.
||Sun Myung Moon (the 'Moonie' cult leader) spent $48 million
to develop this nationalistic film about the Korean war. It starred
Olivier & Bisset, but was a critical flop.
||The original movie starring Sinatra that brought the term 'brainwashing' into currency. Illustrates brainwashing as it was originally and erroneously perceived by the American public. Depictions of the brainwashed are ludicrously incorrect.
||Movie about the "21" scandal from the early days
of television. The producers of the game show "21"
use some clever manipulative tactics to ensnare an otherwise
ethical and intelligent man into cheating on the show.
|A Redford & Newman "buddy" movie, where the duo set up a sting operation to ensnare an evil crime boss. Illustrates consistency tactics, as well as slight-of-hand cons.
|Dreyfuss & DeVito attempt to sell undesirable aluminum
siding in the 1960s. Several interesting persuasion techniques,
with the underlying question of ethical boundaries in selling.
||An influence classic, with one juror (Fonda) standing against the pressures toward conformity.
Don't miss the propaganda analysis of Fahrenheit 9/11 here.
Copyright © 1997 by Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
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