This essay explores the elicitation of disgust in movies, focusing on the major
rhetorical uses of such elicitation. The essay first defines disgust and shows the
means and nature of its elicitation in the movies. Drawing on a distinction between
physical and sociomoral disgust, the essay goes on to show how filmmakers either
conflate and confuse the two (as in Don Siegel‘s Dirty Harry) or maintain a strict
separation between them (as in David Lynch‘s The Elephant Man), in each case to serve
the rhetorical purpose of the film. Finally, I discuss the ironic use of disgust in
John Water‘s Polyester.