Great Depression movies
October 2, 2008 5:12 PM   Subscribe

Most acclaimed or your favorite movies about life during the Great Depression or the Great Panic of 1873?
posted by DirtyCreature to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Grapes of Wrath
posted by netbros at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2008


The Purple Rose of Cairo
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:54 PM on October 2, 2008


do you just want fictional movies?

if not, the documentary Riding the Rails is an amazing, insightful & moving piece of work...

but for story-telling, even though the historical chronology is a bit mishmash, The Cradle Will Rock is a fantastic movie with powerful performances - one caveat: there's so much covered in the film, & the dialogue is so witty & quick that it definitely requires more than one viewing to appreciate it all
posted by jammy at 5:57 PM on October 2, 2008


Seconding Riding the Rails. Fascinating and moving.

Adding King of the Hill by Steven Soderbergh.
posted by Brody's chum at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Paper Moon
posted by amyms at 6:46 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sounder, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wild Boys of the Road, My Man Godfrey, Bound for Glory, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Dead End, Bonnie & Clyde.
posted by gudrun at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2008


They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
posted by susanvance at 7:09 PM on October 2, 2008


Modern Times
posted by milarepa at 7:30 PM on October 2, 2008


Sullivan's Travels
posted by rhizome at 8:13 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


You just started this to bait me into raving about Jean Arthur, didn't you?

And if I hear Steven Soderbergh says King of the Hill was a disappointment one more time, I will punch him in the talented throat. Cast Julia Robert more than once and speak ill of King of the Hill, will you!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:58 PM on October 2, 2008


Alaska Far Away: The New Deal Pioneers of the Matanuska Colony, an excellent documentary (2007).

Bonnie and Clyde.
posted by nickyskye at 12:18 AM on October 3, 2008


Gold Diggers of 1933.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:06 AM on October 3, 2008


It's probably the childish idealist in me, but I do love the Capra classics, like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and American Madness. (Yeah, blah blah blah It's a Wonderful Life blah blah blah.)
posted by General Malaise at 8:27 AM on October 3, 2008


O Brother Where Art Thou?

The Grapes of Wrath

and, this isn't a movie, but an excellent tv show about a traveling circus during the Great Depression: Carnivale
posted by saturngirl at 9:31 AM on October 3, 2008


Third "Riding the Rails" -- and I'd really like to see the 1933 movie it shows clips from, Wild Boys of the Road.

Of course The Grapes of Wrath (even though the film ends midway, at an optimistic point nowhere near the end of the book) and another Steinbeck choice might be the original Of Mice and Men.

And yeah, don't miss the 1933 Gold-Diggers, all good and then the amazing song at the end, "Remember My Forgotten Man".

A great film depicting the early 30s, but in Germany, is Little Man, What Now?

Are there any movies about the Great Panic of 1873?
posted by Rash at 11:49 AM on October 3, 2008


Another great documentary about the Depression was America Lost and Found from 1979. Its film-makers went on to make the better-known World of Tomorrow, about the World's Fair. The latter isn't that hard to track down, but for unknown reasons, the former work is sadly unavailable.

Both use footage from the documentary (with Aaron Copeland score) called The City which should also be mentioned here.
posted by Rash at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2008


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