MovieChat Forums > Gung Ho (1986) Discussion > Underated movie about slovenly American ...

Underated movie about slovenly American mentality...


It's easy enough to boast that you're the best but can you back it up? I like this movie because I see it as a great tongue-in-cheek coming of age story for America. For a long time Americans would laugh at the backward cultural stylings of others only finding later on that maybe our way is not the best and that global Darwinism is our wake up call.

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I agree with you about the lazy American work ethic, but global darwinism, c'mon.

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Lazy American work ethic? That's funny, I guess working 60+ hours a week makes myself and the rest of my co-workers a bunch of lazy slackers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my hours, but I and everybody else out there like me don't appreciate being called that while we are willingly sacrificing time with our families to make life at home more comfortable. This is a very good movie as it shows the difference of cultures in the work place between east and west.

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It's true, nowadays americans work more hours per week than other economic powers like Germany or Japan.

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What I don't think is understood here is that just because Americans may work longer doesn't mean that the work ethic is good by any means. I'm speaking in terms of quality and efficiency. Maybe people in Japan and Germany don't have to work as long because they do a better job. =)

By the way, I don't see why anyone would take offense to the postings here, because we should all know that one comment doesn't sterotype an entire country, even if it is presented that way. Regardless of what people say, you are going ot have your own personal experiences that will differ from what was said. It isn't the 'amazing' experience you were hoping to present here. =)

Sorry....

Also, I'm an American, I work about 30 hours a week and go to school full time (college).

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I don't understand the second paragraph in your post, monkey.

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Ah, I appologize. I was just saying, that users such as ccjhs90 should not take offense to the original posting. This movie is very interesting and is based on real world differences, but should not be taken seriously enough to actually take offense from it. There are people with lousy work ethic all over the world, and in those same places, you will find people with a great work ethic. Just because a movie is stereotyping a country doesn't mean one would have to take it as anything but just that, a stereotype. It's not an insult to us over here at the US.

This is just my view. I'm not getting on anyone's case, just adding to the discussion. =)

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I think you have to take into account when the movie was made, 1986. This is during a period in which Americans were becoming increasingly worried about the Japanese economy as it looked to surpass the American economy in terms of efficiency and GDP per capita ( I think, I was only 1 in 1986). However, if you try and apply this movie to the present time it would not work. The movie is based on the situation of 1980's and maybe early 1990's. As we know now, the Japanese economy has been in constant recession and has not been able to pick it self back up into the position its economy was in the 1980's.

There may be someone more infromed about the economic situation of Japan and America in the 80's, since I was only born in 1985.

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Well put, 011. The movie was much more relevant when it came out, but it is still funny today.

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This movie is very applicable in today's age, especially in the auto industry. American auto makers continue to struggle, while Toyota and Honda (and others are rising as well) are thriving. While GM is having finicial troubles the past few years, Toyota and Honda are listed ahead of them in Business Week's top performers in the vehicle classification. While working on a report for my MBA class, I came across these stats on auto makers. In FY2004, Toyota made net profit of about $1,600 per vehicle, Honda made about $1,200, Ford was at about $650, Chrysler was at $175, and GM actually lost $2,200 per vehicle. GM is making money thru their finance department, and not by manufacturing. In other words, if GMAC financing would finance something other than their own cars, and quit making cars, GM would be in a much better financial situation. This is the reason GM was able to sell their vehicles recently at employee pricing and still make money. The financing of these vehicles is supporting them.

I am an American who believes in the American way and feel that a strong economy is what keeps America as the leader in the world economy. I also feel that some industries, such as the auto industry, need to take a close look at itself to continue to be on top. They have relied on the fact that their sheer size will continue to make them top of the world. Size, however, when you are not making money, only will quicken your downfall. The Japanese auto makers have relied on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing to help them drive efficiencies. "Cutting the fat" out of their manufacturing costs has allowed them to funnel more money into emerging technologiess that will drive the future. This is why the top hybrid vehicles are from foreign manufacturers. The Japanese are also known for creating value added relationships with their suppliers as opposed to the confrontational relationship that many US manufacturers foster.

I just hope it is not too late for US car manufacturers to turn things around. In order to do so, changes need made and the employees of these companies, as well as the thousands of companies that feed into the auto industry, need to be accepting that things need to change in order to bring the US auto industry back on top.

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it's not how much you work or how long it's what you get accomplished the in the u.s the systems that are used by most corporations as well as by the government are not effecint or pratical the system in use create coruption and need to be replaced

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DID, the key word here is DID, true from the mid 1970s to the mid to late 1980s America went through a time of lower quality products (autos in particular) but as Americans tend to do when they see they are getting behind in any sort of race they step up and deliver, todays American work force is among the best in the world without a doubt, end of story.

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The American worker works more hours than workers in any other industrial country in the world.

This will be the high point of my day; it's all downhill from here.

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That's *beep* American's aren't, and never have or will be lazy. We just expect to get well paid for our work. That's the simple truth. American's will work, and hard, but they want their *beep* pay. Pretty basic.

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As Americans we would All have great paying jobs and the economy would be booming IF Bill Clinton would Not have signed NAFTA into law. Thanks to him, that's why many people are on unemployment, welfare, and everything else. If we have a job, we should be thankful!

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Holy crap you Americans take yourselves too seriously.

-Australian.

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There are always too sides to a trade deal. Some may see NAFTA negatively as an agreement that cost many american jobs to move to mexico, while others may praise it as it has brought down prices and production costs. It is a big argument and one hard to conduct on a movie thread

getting back to gung ho, i enjoyed the way it showed the contrast between American and Japanese working cultures. The Japanese being very business like and placing work above anything else. Whereas Americans see work as a means to earn money and gain more satisfaction through friendship and family life.

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look at GM and Ford stock performance.
Compare it to Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi.

Enough said...

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No, in 2005, when that was posted, they haven't heard of bailouts. Pay attention, DB.

This will be the high point of my day; it's all downhill from here.

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"We just expect to get well paid for our work" Speaking from my experience in dealing with the American work force on a daily basis, it seems today alot of people expect to get paid well whether they do the work or not. A huge example of this is how customer service satisfaction is at an all time low.



"If you can do it, it ain't braggin'"-Dizzy Dean

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I dis agree with that . I think SOOO Much is expected of us to pay...
Look at our list of bills we have to pay from the 70s , the 80s and now...
dont we have to pay for more with less money coming in. all this to exect us to be MIDDLE CLASS....

and Maybe customer service is down is because people are OVERLY ANAL and angry walking in the door? and maybe because so many people are to come in to survive on the smallest wage? and the only people working in service is "High school " students and college students.?
WOuld you want to work in service jobs for your life?

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Quote from Charles_bronson "Free trade does not exactly create jobs". Yes, that is half of it. The other half would be that it eliminates jobs and moves many positions off shore. Who do you really think it creates more wealth for anyway? It cetainly wont be the guy who just lost his job because the government lowered tariffs on imported products causing the company he works for to go out of business or manufacture overseas. Its one thing to look at your idea on paper but the truth is that it doesnt work. And that bit about creating peace between nations. I very much doubt people will be happy with the asian guy who just took their job on the other side of the world. Thing is, they wont hate the person, theyll hate the government and probably the chinese and japanese.

And to that guy who said about aussies being offended. Well, there you have it.

And I suggest everyone gets some Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel albums if you like the song "working class man".

Cheers.

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The U.S. maintains the highest productivity in the world.

Yes, in the 1970's, Americans slacked off but that changed as we moved into the mid-1980's.

I had a conversation with one of the top guys at GM a number of years ago and he told me about how bad it got with the workers during the 1970's. These guys would come to work drunk or high on drugs. They would do lousy work. Show up whenever they wanted to show up. Meanwhile, wages and benefits kept getting forced up by the Unions. The Unions had such a stranglehold that you couldn't even fire the bad workers.

One story the GM guy told me was about a customer who bought a Caddy and he kept hearing rattling noises. The customer brought the car back to the dealer to find out what was making the noise and when they opened the inside panel of the passenger side of the car, it was filled with crushed beer cans!! That's the kind of stupid things these moron GM workers were doing to amuse themselves.

When the Japanese cars came on the market, people flocked to them because of the superior quality. Highly dependable cars are what you find in Japanese dealerships. While American cars have vastly improved, you still don't know what you're going to get.

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Let's not fire-up on anybody.
Everybody does what they "really" can; be it brain or muscle...

Coming from a Finnish B.A.-graduate in China

Take it easy!

The White Hunter

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I have to admit that this movie was a slightly disturbing wake up call in that it definitely revealed that maybe the American way of doing things is not always the best way. Even though the Japanese are ridiculed in this movie for their very serious work ethic, it was a clear indicator as to why Japan is ahead of the United States in everything in this day and age. As much as we might hate to admit it, we, as country, have been playing catch up with Japan for a long time now.

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It is true from the mid 1970s to the mid to late 1980s America went through a time of lower quality products (autos in particular) but as Americans tend to do when they see they are getting behind in any sort of race they step up and deliver, todays American work force is among the best in the world without a doubt, and are atleast equal to the long time worlds best workers the Japanese, between these 2 countries come most the the worlds best HIGH quality products (That is in general and by no means meant to put down any other country) because every country as someone else here has said has it's share of slackers and it's share of first rate workers.

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Jaguar is now owned by Ford, it's not really a foreign company anymore. And at least in America I can't think of any Japanese brand car that was made by a American company. American companies will buy Japan's old technology and use it like Ford did to make their hybrid vechiles. The point is that American cars really suck and it's the companies own faults. While they have been improving they are so far behind anything that Honda or Toyota produces that it will take at least 10 years to catch up and maybe even longer to regain people's trust in their products.

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i think whoever made this post used the wrong word. slovenly isn't appropriate or accurate by any means. especially since this movie was made, the yen has weakened against the dollar considerably and consistently for 20 years. when the movie was made, it was a time of explosive growth in japan. however, it wasn't long before japan would slide into perhaps the worst bear market in the history of global economics.
to put it into perspective, japan's interest rate was 0% for years. you could even argue that considering the economic envoronment they work in, they should have more of a market share in the auto industry. germany works under far worse conditions, and produce a superior product year after year.
it wasn't slovenly american work ethic that has produced an overwhelming majority of fortune 500 companies not to mention in every industry across the board. the rest of the world bows to america. all they can do, in reality, is make a living trying to perfect american innovation.... while we move forward trying to find new technology foreigners will want to pay us patent rights for.

and then of course they'll ask for it back in aid



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This whole thread reminds me of Paul Cantor's thesis in his book "Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization" about how by comparing TV series from the '60s with series from the '90s you can see changing understandings of what globalization means--starting with the fact that in the '60s it was called Americanization because everyone--at least in the US--assumed that the United States would just go around making everyone else American and that the rest of the world would simply become like America because, well, why wouldn't they want to? Cantor showed that this attitude was reflected on US TV shows in the 1960s whenever American characters interacted with foreign ones; however, by the 1990s, American TV series were beginning to reflect the realization that Globalization can be a two-way street where Americans might have to accept someone else's way of doing things--and learn to like it or perish. Not withstanding that Cantor is right that some TV writers have grasped this--whereas none at all would have grasped this in the 1960s, it often seems as if some of my fellow Americans can pay lip service to this insight and then turn around so that it's business as usual trying to Americanize the rest of the world.

In my work I often read about international take-overs, and today I noticed a little manufacturing company from Colorado that went from being independent to being a subsidiary of a British company to being absorbed into a division of a US company that then closed one of its plants in Colorado and sent more than one hundred jobs to Mexico. There is something for everyone to cheer and boo, by turns, in that tale.

But the world is interdependent especially at the level of global finance and trade. Someone once said that the US and Japan have a trade imbalance that favors Japan, but Japan has a trade imbalance with Australia that favors Australia, and Australia has a trade imbalance with the US that favors the US.

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I think we have to realize that we aren't so perfect and we can learn from others. Not everything the Japanese did fit, but the idea of exercising wasn't a bad idea, since it is good for you anyway.

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