On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by historian Harvey Kaye for a deep-dive on Tim Robbins’ Depression-era film Cradle Will Rock.

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

The film tells the story of the Federal Theatre Project — a New Deal program that funded public theater productions around the U.S. during the Great Depression — and the reactionary forces that ultimately killed it. With an all-star cast including Susan Sarandon, Cherry Jones, John Turtorro, Joan Cusack, Bill Murray, Jack Black, and many others, Cradle Will Rock follows the members of the Federal Theatre Project as they mount their final production, and the encroaching government censorship they faced due to the rampant anti-communism of the 1930s. 

In today’s interview, Rivka, Frank, and Harvey explore the film’s central themes of ownership in the arts and the politics of censorship. As always, Harvey provides a detailed explainer on the historical context and accuracy of the film.


For next week’s Valentine’s Day episode, MVC will be watching the 2008 rom-com 27 Dresses.

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