Impact of Hero Films on American Society and Culture

The impact of hero films is very common and the films are almost everywhere in the American society. The films have many impacts on the popular American culture, the television and the nation’s youth. Many people in the American society associate themselves with the films especially among the youths because it shows the powers they possess but are stronger, extraordinary and unimaginable in the movie characters. It makes the society feel that the actions of the heroes in the films can be attained in some way. This paper talks about the impact of hero films on American society and culture because the business and marketing in the country has changed based on the hero films. It also talks about the culture of helping others among the citizens due to films’ impact, improved economy through high demand for hero films, introduction of television series of hero films, issue of diversity among various races in America, hero film impact on people’s dedication, influence on military, improved patriotism as well as under-representation and diversity in the superhero movie industry.

Hero films have had a positive impact on business and marketing in American society. Superhero movies like Superman have made business people and manufactures of products to associate their goods to these hero films. The faces of the film heroes are put on anything imaginable to market their characters and entice customers who love hero movies to buy them. For instance T-shirts featuring the images of the particular film hero, Halloween costumes, backpacks and merchandise bearing the heroes. The impact that the hero films have here, is in line with the way Americans love hero films. Through the culture that has been developed by the movies, the marketing of products has also changed. The society becomes intrigued by the images of the products being sold. Some of the American customers would not be so much interested in the product but the feeling that they get from the features of the heroes on the product makes them to buy it. Moreover, hero movies like Iron Man have influenced young people to look for costumes or clothes which have same features like the one used by the actor in in Iron Man. This has therefore changed the production of clothes and other goods for the purpose of going with the trending hero film in American society.


The society, through the hero films have also developed a culture of helping those in need. Due to the positive actions that the heroes in the films do, the people would want to have the same characters of stepping up in difficulty times to save other citizens. A film such as that of Rambo in which he fights with the enemies and eventually sets free the MIAs is a good example. Though the film is based on myths since the actor possesses extraordinary powers and succeeds in some situations that seem impossible in real life, those watching develop a sense of concern for helping others. It arouses someone to do the same things. Therefore, those Americans who watch movies of this sort always develop some qualities of humanity and urge to help others.

Hero films have had an impact on the American economy. For many years after the creation of hero films, the superhero movie industry has made many people spend billions of dollars. Americans spend a lot of millions of money on superhero films because they love them. Superman and Batman which are the most famous hero films in America have had a significant impact on the economy due to the way they make people connect with the movies. Therefore, the hero films have also positively contributed to the economic situation of the country since it records high sales.

Hero films have also led to the introduction of several television series in the society. This has made many hero film lovers to follow the series movies on a daily basis. Many hero film lovers would also come up with a culture of scheduling their programs in order to catch up with the television programs. This, therefore, shows that the films have become part of their lives and they would not want to miss watching the movies. The hero movies bring up a feeling of fondness and personal relationship with the movie characters.

The American society has changed and the diversity of the citizens is no longer an issue. America being a multi-racial society has had a lot of challenges in dealing with racism and discrimination. However, hero films such as the Fist of Fury (1972) by Bruce Lee has had a positive impact. The “Chinese are no longer the sick men of Asia” presents a strong, masculine and dominant Chinese-American hero that was proud of his cultural heritage and openly embraced both American and Chinese background. The film among other similar hero films has helped in advancing the cause of racial equality for the various races living in America. Hero films have changed the way minority groups are represented by the American media and the public at large.

Hero films have had an impact on people’s dedication. Most of the people who love hero movies in America have in one way or another improved their self-confidence in the society. Through the hero films they watch, they get motivated to fight for justice and social equality. Young children would grow up having in mind the positive things the superhero does. He or she would strive to emulate the hero film character and therefore the society will have people who are ready to fight for good things for the sake of others. The kids develop a culture of doing positive things with an aim of being recognized in the same way the superhero is treated and honored. Hero films such as the Spiderman can influence an individual to dedicate themselves to social activities like saving others since it influences individuals to do well.

Hero films can influence the military forces to be courageous. The act of Rambo in his heroic film going to Vietnam to rescue his colleagues from MIAs can positively encourage the military to be close together and develop a culture of sacrificing for those in danger. Since most of the American soldiers are deployed in dangerous places like Afghanistan, the hero movies based on military activities have an impact. The myth within the film can make them develop the same character of self-sacrifice for the sake of other soldiers.

Hero films make people stand for the truth and patriotism. In some hero films, the heroes show some patriotic traits towards their country. Superman in the movie called Superman asserts that he stands for justice, American culture and fighting for justice. This shows that the hero is strongly connected to his country, America. He is concerned with the American people and therefore his protection exceeds the physical safety of the citizens. He values the protection of the American beliefs. The hero here conserves the American ideology. Therefore, the impact that this film has on the Americans is making them develop a strong love for their nation and its ideologies. It makes the American society develop a culture of patriotism.

Hero films depict misrepresentation and under-representation of diversity in the American society. This is because there are few Latino and Native American characters in hero films. Mainstream subtext and allusion has been used in many superhero films to deal with homosexuality. For instance, mutation concept is used in X-Man hero film as a metaphor for homosexuality. Moreover, Iron Man makes a joke to Captain America which brings out the idea that homosexuality is something that is unlikely in hero films. It conflicts with the atmosphere of a team. Therefore, the absence of gay superheroes in most of the hero films in America shows that people who are gay cannot be heroic. The under-representation of Latino in hero films is seen in The Lone Ranger where a Latino man plays the Sunspot. However, he is given a small amount of screen time. This therefore, negatively impacts on the way people view the American society and culture.

Hero films are exclusively for white people. It raises a question of diversity in the American society and culture as a whole. Most hero films depict that the super powered genetic mutations select those people who are white alone. This is because there are many hero films that are heterosexual and most of the box office success by DC and Marvel have for a long time starred white male heroes.

In conclusion, the impact of hero films on the American culture and society is generally positive. Most of the hero films influence children who are young members of the society to act in the same way the superheroes do things. The adult members of the society are also intrigued by the hero films to do good by helping other members of the society. All these are positive contributions to the hero films to the society. Most of the movie characters do good things. It shapes the society to behave in a good way. However, the way the movies have been acted and the weakness of misrepresentation draws some negative issues. As noted above, most of the films are starred by white men with few women. It also under-represents the gay people hence bringing a notion of society without equality in the film industry and in real life situation.

Related essays