Set in New York City and Washington D.C. in 1937, this fast-paced, rollicking romp starring Hank Azaria, Ruben Blades, Vanessa Redgrave, Emily Watson, Bill Murray, Susan Sarandon, John and Joan Cusack, John Turturro, and others, dramatizes the events surrounding the final, emotionally-wrought days of the Federal Theater Project.This unique film/history book includes a lengSet in New York City and Washington D.C. in 1937, this fast-paced, rollicking romp starring Hank Azaria, Ruben Blades, Vanessa Redgrave, Emily Watson, Bill Murray, Susan Sarandon, John and Joan Cusack, John Turturro, and others, dramatizes the events surrounding the final, emotionally-wrought days of the Federal Theater Project.This unique film/history book includes a lengthy essay and notes from Robbins along with his complete shooting script, 115 behind-the-scenes movie stills, comments from cast and crew members, complete production credits, 34 archival photos, and 30 illuminating historical articles, written exclusively for this book mainly by social historian Eric Darton (Divided We Stand)....
|Title||:||Cradle Will Rock: The Movie and the Moment|
|Number of Pages||:||160 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Cradle Will Rock: The Movie and the Moment Reviews
About 25% of the book is new content, while the other 75% is the film script and stills. Obviously, I would only read the book if I already loved the film--which I do--so my review is of the 25% new content.Part dramaturgical research, part behind-the-scenes liner notes, the book looks at the history and context around the events the movie explores: the 1930s political climate, the real-life people and, of course, the Federal Theatre Project. While it is all good information, it is more like a study guide than its own freestanding history. While I would've liked a deeper dive into the history--a lot of it simply confirms that the moments the movie touches on were indeed real--I have to admit the book did significantly more than I expected. (I figured it would be nothing more than an introduction and some behind-the-scenes photos, a fan book.) As a document of a period of arts history that isn't written widely about it has value, but nowadays the book's extra content would've been substituted for a one hour DVD bonus feature. And, as with nearly all DVD bonus features, it isn't nearly as vital as the film itself, warranting no more than one or two viewings.(view spoiler)[Favorite parts:"Just after one A.M. on June 30, 1939, the House Appropriations Committee voted 373 to 21 to terminate funding for the Federal Theatre...Lasting only four years, the FTP became the only government relief program to be shut down prior to the start of World War II." (102)"In cinematically re-creating Cradle's wildcat premiere...Just before rolling cameras, [Tim Robbins] took the stage to give the actors, and more than a thousand extras, a brief background on the show that galvanized the American stage. But Robbins purposely left off just short of Olive Stanton's heroic intervention, hoping to capture on film the spontaneity of the 1937 opening-night triumph. With the cameras rolling, the "audience" of extras responded with unrehearsed delight, applauding at some of the least expected moments, laughing at even the most subtle lines." (116)"Although the Federal Theatre sought to revive the form [vaudeville] by establishing special variety show acts and underwriting apprenticeships, its audience had all but vanished." ...thanks to film. (124)"The young Burt Lancaster...began his long acting career as an aerialist with the circus division of the FTP." (128)Some dates and facts were bent: "The rivera-Rockefeller controversy actually occurred in 1932, the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, and the downfall of the Federal Theatre in 1939." (133) (hide spoiler)]
The 1937 play "The Cradle Will Rock" is a pivotal artistic event in America's history. Originally part of the Federal Theatre Project (a New Deal program to fund theatre and other live artistic performances during the Great Depression) it's a musical, directed by Orson Wells, about corporate corruption and greed. When the government shut down the production before it opened (purportedly due to its leftist politics) and confiscated the sets and props, the play’s composer, Marc Blitzstein, moved to another venue and planned to perform the play by himself, reciting the lines, playing the piano, and singing the musical numbers on a bare stage. However, cast members started saying their lines from the audience (forbidden to act "on stage," they were able to get around this restriction by staying in the audience) and created one of American theatre’s most memorable and significant nights.