Subliminal messages in Hollywood movies

Ever since the introduction of subliminal techniques in 1950’s, advertisers or those who are in desperate need to increase profits, use this sneaky technique, with the hopes of making the money that they want. But now, even movie directors are using it too! But what is the sole purpose of using it when movies are not one of the main mediums for advertising? In this case, subliminal messages in Hollywood movies can be pretty random, unlike those that of in advertisement.

Subliminal messages are hidden messages that are not noticeable immediately. Usually it needs some interpretation before discovering the real message. These messages exist in various forms including audio and visual messages. Usually the hidden messages are back masked in audio form. Hence, it is pretty hard to detect one, unless you have software to go along with it.

Here are just some of the examples pertaining to subliminal messages in Hollywood movies:

Part of the actual plotline in the movie “Fight Club” is itself about subliminal messaging in movies.  A scene where Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt’s character) adds frames of a penis on the screen while working as a projectionist in a movie theater.  Also it is claimed that you can see Tyler Durden for just one frame, three times before the character appears for the first time in the film.

In the movie “Gladiator” the character Maximus is taken to be killed and the word “Kennedy” flashes on the screen.  At the end when he is stabbed by Commodus, the word appears again.  You can view it with a reliable DVD player when you slow it down.

In the Disney movie Aladdin, some have heard a whispered message saying, “Good teenagers, take off your clothes.” In another Disney film, The Lion King, the word “sex” seems to form in the clouds above Samba’s head after he watches his father die.

A subliminal ghostly figure can be seen in the movie “Silence Of The Lambs”.   As the asylum director escorts Clarice into Lectern’s lair, at the bottom of a flight of stairs, they walk out of picture and for one frame you can see an ominous figure looming menacingly behind them.  Some say this was only an extra, a straitjacketed patient.  The effect, however, was undeniably of a subliminal lunge from behind.

Stanley Kubrick, in his 1999 release, “Eyes Wide Shut”, features a scene depicting a satanic ritual, where in the soundtrack one song “Masked Ball” consists of a Latin liturgy.

Of course we have to wind up with the movie “National Treasure” which is all about hidden messages.  The movie does contain some interesting messages.  For example: As the camera pans through the treasure room we can see a statue of a black bird - an homage to “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), which was another treasure hidden by a group of knights and sought after by several parties.

And here is a mini one: In the first “Spiderman” film a spooky image of the World Trade Center can be seen reflected in the eye of Spiderman.

It is pretty interesting to know that subliminal messages do exist in Hollywood movies. So, next time when you catch a movie, keep your eyes glued to the big screen and hey, who knows you will spot something interesting!

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