Jon Polito Saying 'Ethics'


In the opening of the great, great, great Miller’s Crossing, Mr. Jon Polito describes the importance of being able to trust a fixed fight, concluding with spreading his hands and saying: ‘So back we go to these questions–friendship, character, ethics.’

The black hole of irony, and Mr. Polito’s utter commitment to his character’s belief is what I think about whenever I see characters acting evil in movies where we supposed to think of them as good. I can hear him in my head: ‘Ethics’.

Even if we don’t like it, films are about ethics, fables where the moral is the ending. The rogue hero is an archetype not despite this but because of it – their conversion is coming, and generally more interesting than the one who is a nice guy throughout.

Many films, and I’m sorry to say most of them modern, but I haven’t seen all the films from 1954, eschew morality, as it’s assumed that we’re all in for ourselves. This is a tangent of I(S)Q, that we want our characters to be stupid, but not so stupid that we lose all sympathy. They same must logically apply to characters actively actings immorally – that we want some evil, so we like them, but no so much that we can’t pretend that we aren’t actually like that, even if we are.


There are six films covered by Jon Polito Saying 'Ethics'