Our Favorite Kurt Vonnegut References in Movies

Simply put, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was one of the most prolific and well known American writers of his time. In fact he’s still very well known and is constantly referenced in movies, TV, and various other venues where his work is considered to be instrumental in learning. For a while he was considered a controversial character due the content of his writing and his particularly dim view of human nature. As time has gone on however his works have been embraced as important works of literature that are now considered to be vital to the literary world.

Vonnegut’s influence has even been felt in film and TV as the years have passed, and has left a legacy unlike any other.

5. Varsity Blues

Slaughterhouse Five, one of Vonnegut’s most famous novels, is a recurring plot device in many films and TV shows that has been used to great effect. In this film Jon Moxon is reading this book while he’s supposed to be studying his plays as the backup qb during a game. When his coach confronts him after the game he rips the book out of Moxon’s playbook and tosses it away. Bud Kilmer isn’t exactly a nice guy.

4. Can’t Hardly Wait

It’s a small mention but one that’s still worthwhile. Throughout the whole film Preston is attempting to get Amanda’s attention but to no avail. When she shuts him down finally he leaves, dejected. The next day he’s off to a writer’s workshop to meet Kurt Vonnegut, his hero, when Amanda shows up in the nick of time to tell him that she was wrong, and that she’s grateful for his words to her. Small mention, but worth it.

3. Footloose

Censorship is kind of like closing your eyes and ears and trying to experience the world with the senses that are left. Chances are you’re going to miss a lot, just like the townsfolk in this film seem to. The kids in this movie aren’t even allowed to own a copy of Slaughterhouse Five let alone read it. But then they’re not allowed to dance or listen to any music not approved by their elders either. Thank goodness for teenage rebellion.

2. Disturbing Behavior

When you’re trying to act like you’re the town nitwit it’s usually best that you don’t have a Kurt Vonnegut novel stuffed in your back pocket. Of course acting like you’re soft in the head can get a lot of people to leave you alone considering the whole stigma of it in some areas. But really, if you want to pull it off, don’t go carrying around something that a lot of mentally disabled individuals might not understand.

1. Back to School

This had to the best reference because Kurt Vonnegut actually shows up in this one! Really, as a college kid reading one of his novels what would you do if you were suddenly face to face with the author that wrote the book you’re reading? Yeah, my jaw might drop too.

During his lifetime Kurt Vonnegut was a writer that endured criticism and embraced his fame. He was and still is known as one of the most influential writers of his era and any other.


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