The Great Depression

Friday, November 12, 2010, 1:30 p.m.

Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

Includes the following films:

  • The River

    1937. USA. Directed by Pare Lorentz. Cinematography by Floyd Crosby, Willard Van Dyke. Music by Virgil Thomson. 30 min.

  • Our Daily Bread

    1934. USA. Directed by King Vidor. With Karen Morley, Tom Keene, Barbara Pepper, Addison Richards, John Qualen. 74 min.

Although there was no dearth of Hollywood depictions of the Depression, most of the major directors steered clear of taking on the subject directly. King Vidor was unable to find studio financing for Our Daily Bread, a tale of fired workers and their families that he saw as a sequel to his silent masterpiece The Crowd. Working independently with some funds supplied by his friend Charles Chaplin, Vidor struggled to present a solution to the country’s problems that was vaguely Socialist—yet borderline Fascist. The Roosevelt administration addressed movie audiences through a series of excellent documentaries, and The River was made in support of the Tennessee Valley Authority (later the subject of the 1960 Wild River, one of Elia Kazan’s best films).

In the Film exhibition An Auteurist History of Film

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