6.9/10
8,144
161 user 69 critic

Cradle Will Rock (1999)

R | | Drama | 21 January 2000 (USA)
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

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Storyline

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

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Plot Keywords:

1930s | theatre | depression | union | play | See All (50) »

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On 12.10.99, make history. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

21 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abajo el telón  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is based on actual events, though it takes liberties with the details. Marc Blitzstein's 1937 anti-capitalist operetta 'The Cradle Will Rock', about the effort to unionize steelworkers, was originally produced as part of the Federal Theatre Project. The Federal Theatre Project (1935-1939), in turn, was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was created in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to employ people during the Great Depression. Directed by Orson Welles and produced by John Houseman, Cradle was shut down right before it was due to open because of "budget cuts" at the FTP. Everyone involved believed the government deliberately cut funding because the play's message offended its more conservative contingent; Actor's Equity prohibited its members from taking part, apparently oblivious to the fact that Cradle was a pro-union piece and Actor's Equity was - and is - a union. Welles, Housman and Blitzstein spontaneously rented another theater and planned to put on Cradle with Blitzstein himself singing/reading the piece; the show sold out and various actors defied Equity and performed their parts from the seats they'd bought. The secondary plot which involved Mexican painter Diego Rivera butting heads with Nelson Rockefeller when the mural the latter commissioned for a Rockefeller Center lobby on the high-minded subject of "human intelligence in control of the forces of nature" included a portrait of Lenin, is also based on fact, though it happened in 1933. The incident is also dramatized in the 2002 film Frida (2002). Tim Robbins included it because it tied into the theme of artistic integrity vs. economic practicality. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of Hallie Flanagan's Senate testimony, the court stenograper's machines are not operating although they are pressing the keys. Later in the scene, the machines are working properly. See more »

Quotes

Marc: I am faithful to the ideals of the party.
Orson Welles: I am faithful to the party of ideas.
John Houseman: You are faithful to the idea of a party.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film was edited on old fashioned machines. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gangs of New York (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Internationale
Written by Pierre Degeyter, Eugène Pottier
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User Reviews

Smart history
14 July 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is definately Tim Robbins best (directed) film yet. He brings a number of characters together to tell the story of the 1930's. In particular, Orson Wells and his broadway production that caused a controversy and some other things. Though it take liberties in history (that sounds weird), it comes out in the end as good entertainment from an exceptional actor/writer/director/producer. All star cast includes John and Joan Cusack, Ruben Blades, Hank Azaria, Tim Robbins (uncredited), Emily Watson, Susan Sarandon, Paul Giamatti, Angus MacFaden as Orson Wells (in a breakthrough performance) and Bill Murray in a wonderful role as a puppeteer. A+


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