The Return of Hanoi Jane - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Return of Hanoi Jane
Jane Fonda on “The View” last week (The Daily Caller/Rumble)

Progressives are much more upset than conservatives over Jane Fonda’s suggestion last Friday on The View that abortion opponents should be murdered. Even conservative-bashing harridan Joy Behar nervously tried to pass off the comment as a joke, with no support from Fonda — and not because Behar disagreed with her. Conservatives have long known that this is very much the fate leftists wish upon us. And that we disdain them rather than fear them.

What Behar realized, despite her low intellect, is how Fonda’s remark undermines the narrative lie her side has been fabricating for years — from Joe Biden on down through Merrick Garland, the Justice Department, the media, and Democrats — of the Right as rabid terrorists, including school board–protesting parents. Consequently, Behar’s response to Fonda was not, “How can you say such a horrible thing?” but, “They’ll pick up on that and just run with it. She’s just kidding.”

By showing the true colors of her ideology, Fonda painted their side as the repulsive villains they are.

Of course, Fonda didn’t retract. Why would she when she never apologized for betraying her country in the Vietnam War, the men who fought in it, and the women who loved them? The photo of her looking through a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunsight used to shoot down U.S. military planes and helicopters became one of the most famous of the conflict. And she actively did worse — broadcasting enemy propaganda over their radio system. Not only did she not pay a price for her treason; she was rewarded with a long, luminous career and celebrated as a feminist icon. And that’s the real joke. Because everything that brought her to this height —from her traditionalist starlet days to her sex kitten phase to her liberal lioness turn — was enabled or directed by the men in her life, beginning with her legendary actor father, Henry Fonda.

Henry Fonda was a beloved movie star. He was also a lifelong liberal, but with one big difference from the later Jane. He loved America. And when Pearl Harbor happened, he did what most patriotic able-bodied American men — and almost every male Hollywood star — did. Like his conservative dear friend and fellow star James Stewart, he joined the military — in his case, the Navy. He earned a Bronze Star “for his untiring energy in repelling Japanese forces.” After the war, his film career took off, making it easy for him to help his daughter start one. (RELATED: Jane Fonda’s ‘Very Few Regrets’ Should Include One Taboo Subject)

He didn’t have to work too hard at it. Jane was remarkably beautiful — having been a model and Vogue magazine cover girl — and quite talented as a stage thespian, praised by acting guru Lee Strasberg, but so was most of her competition. The Fonda name got her the romantic lead in her very first movie, Tall Story (1960), as a traditionalist co-ed with only one goal in mind — getting college basketball star Ray, played by Anthony Perkins, to marry her and start a family.

But Fonda really broke out three years later in her best film — the delightful romantic comedy Sunday in New York, a witty, funny, typically innocent sixties sex farce that had featured Robert Redford on Broadway. Redford would eventually become her most frequent co-star (four films), although he didn’t get the part in this movie. Fonda plays sexy yet virginal college graduate Eileen Tyler from Albany, who shows up at her pilot brother (Cliff Robertson)’s Manhattan apartment after breaking up with her rich boyfriend (a scene-stealing Robert Culp) for insisting on nonmarital sex. Amusingly, Eileen becomes attracted to a handsome stranger played by the great Rod Taylor, and they wind up in a compromising situation.

The irony of the picture, given Fonda’s ultimate militant image, is that all three real men love and respect Eileen. Taylor’s Mike Mitchell even rejects her sensuous seduction of him after he realizes she’s a virgin. “A girl’s got to start somewhere,” she argues. “Not with me,” Mike answers. The attractiveness of the whole cast, the likability of Fonda, the chivalry of the men, and the clearly contra-feminist message have made Sunday in New York a popular favorite for 60 years. Which will outlast Fonda’s critically acclaimed yet inferior 1970s–80s films, like Klute (1971), Julia (1977), The China Syndrome (1979), and 9 to 5 (1980).

But before those prestigious credits, Fonda’s career underwent one more memorable if infamous career incarnation, totally guided by a man. In 1965, she married French writer-director Roger Vadim, who practically patented the new-wave international sex symbol when he made his first wife, Brigitte Bardot, into a major one in And God Created Woman (1956). He did the same with his third, casting Fonda as steamy, underclad, space-faring vamp Barbarella (1968).

The late sixties radically changed Fonda’s trajectory with the rise of the counterculture, ironically symbolized by her younger brother, Peter, after his massive hit Easy Rider (1969). For this new phase, she found the perfect mate and mentor, California anti-war activist Tom Hayden. “He gave me structure and guidance,” Fonda told the New Yorker in 2018, two years after Hayden’s death. “And I learned so much from him that I am forever grateful for.” Their relationship led to Fonda looking through that North Vietnamese gunsight in enemy country.

Now Jane Fonda has to play that dragon-lady role in real life to the bitter end, only with clichéd script lines like: “We’re not going back. I don’t care what the laws are.” And regarding what to do about pro-life champions: “Murder,” she said. But she has lost one important aspect of a good actress — the ability to read the audience. By showing the true colors of her ideology, as even Joy Behar realized to much horror, she painted their side as the repulsive villains they are.

But she didn’t repulse conservatives. They left her long ago on a grim North Vietnamese gun site, preferring to remember her as an innocent beauty on a rainy Sunday in New York.

Sign up to receive our latest updates! Register

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The American Spectator, 122 S Royal Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Be a Free Market Loving Patriot. Subscribe Today!