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The social and political films of the 1930s - Essay Example

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In 1930s Will Hays, head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association, mentioned "No medium has contributed more greatly than the film to the maintenance of the national morale during a period featured by revolution, riot and political turmoil in other countries."(Digital History, 2006)…
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The social and political films of the 1930s
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Download file to see previous pages Even though equipment was new, but American public was poor at the time, as a result by 1933 movie attendance fell by 40 percent. To survive, the industry trimmed salaries and production costs and also shut down one third of the US theatres.

The depression 1gave rise also to such movies that were more propaganda in nature. For example due to influx of refugees from Germany, a lot of Germans were even working in the movie industry led to the Anti-Nazi themes.

It was under this feeling that by the end of decade, fronts were formed against Anti-Nazism, such as Holy Wood Anti Nazi League that explicitly made Anti-Nazi movies, a move far from away from entertainment. The rise of communism also made its presence in Hollywood. In 1930s Hollywood had its own Communist party under the leadership of screenwriter John Howard Lawson, who championed the cause of intellectual rights. Our Daily bread (1934) is a movie based on Communism in the backdrop of Depression, which portrays that communal spirit could enable a community to overcome the economic problems.

The Great Depression 2increased poverty; while Prohibition shifted ideologies, which were clearly reflected in the movies. The Depression broke the promise of American Dream; many thought of a revolution to bring change in the White House. In 1932 the American Legion mentioned that the reason for chaos was American political system that needs to be changed. The response it was believed is revolution, as capitalism failed; Stalin seemed the rescuer for new setup. This provided dictatorship craze 3in Hollywood, a series of films that have strong tyrannical personalities, who with all their flaws had the power to steer the nation. The Power and Glory (1931) is made around such character, the railroad tycoon Tom Garner, who in the wake of railroad crisis brings workers to heel through his haughty personality. A times comes, when Garners happens to kill 400
workers to suppress strike, again shows that cruelty is acceptable, if it can bail out the people. Employee's Entrance (1933) shows the ruthless world of the business.

The film depicts establishment of business since 1878 throughout the roaring twenties with a tone, that in business there is no room for sympathy, again is depiction of blind power from Hollywood. The rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany and political corruption also produced characters for the movies. Colombia pictures presented an alternative to American inefficient democracy of the time, Mussolini Speaks (1933), where the pre-credit inscription mentions " This picture is dedicated to a man of the people whose deeds for his people will ever be an inspiration to all mankind." The narrator of the movie praises in the preface and mentions that, "Whether we agree with a man's policy or not doesn't matter. We're interested in a man if he marks himself a leader", depicts American society loss of faith on its leadership. This yearning for strong leadership is based on the assumption that even if leadership is flawed and tyrannical, if it knows, how things are done is better than democracy. Similarly in Gabriel over the White House (1932) again the need for a strong leadership is repeated, when newly elected president Judson Hammond is shown to be a lackey of his party willing to follow the party line ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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