Cradle Will Rock (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,928 users   Metascore: 64/100
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A true story of politics and art in the 1930s U.S., focusing on a leftist musical drama and attempts to stop its production.



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5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


In 1930s New York Orson Welles tries to stage a musical on a steel strike under the Federal Theater Program despite pressure from an establishment fearful of industrial unrest and red activity. Meanwhile Nelson Rockefeller gets the foyer of his company headquarters decorated and an Italian countess sells paintings for Mussolini. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1930s | theatre | depression | union | play | See All (48) »


On 12.10.99, make history. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abajo el telón  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$93,998 (USA) (10 December 1999)


$2,899,970 (USA) (21 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The three-toned art-deco console radio seen in an office sequence is a Midwest Radio Model B-16 from 1936. See more »


The Diego Rivera mural, as depicted in the film, is not his original Rockefeller Center version design (for which in-progress photographs exist), but of the smaller re-creation Rivera did a year later in Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The Rockefeller Center mural was larger, whereas the spatial arrangement of features in the re-creation (and in the film) is more compact. See more »


Tommy Crickshaw: If you guys are going to kill my joke at least kill it right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This movie was inspired by actual events, but certain characters, organizations and events have been fictionalized. See more »


Referenced in The Division: Cradle Will Rock (2003) See more »


Oh What a Filthy Night Court
Written by Marc Blitzstein
Performed by Henry Stram, Erin Hill, Daniel Jenkins (as Dan Jenkins),
Timothy Jerome (as Tim Jerome), Victoria Clark (as Vicki Clark) and Chris McKinney
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A Wonderful, Intelligent Film
3 May 2000 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

Cradle Will Rock has everything I like in a movie - great characters, humor, suspense, depth, and music. The many subplots are woven together in perfect balance, leaving you wanting more of everything at the end, even though the film is over two hours.

The acting is excellent all around, especially Cherry Jones' portrayal of Hallie Flanagan, the head of the Federal Theater. Ruben Blades and Angus MacFadyen give us Diego Rivera and Orson Welles, respectively, and do not disappoint. It's rare to see so many charismatic, likeable people in a movie with a real story. There is no one star of the film - everyone is sharing the spotlight equally. Tim Robbins has really done a magnificent job of putting all the pieces in the right places.

And perhaps best of all, this is a film with real controversy - one that will get you thinking about art and politics and unions and the influence of money on everything. Cradle Will Rock is such an ambitious piece of work, it could have failed in so many different ways, and yet it succeeds on every level. Check it out.

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