6.9/10
8,124
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

Art is never dangerous -- unless it tells the truth. 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bertolt Brecht appears as a spirit-like figure. Technically, Brecht was still alive in 1936, the year the film is set in. See more »

Goofs

Diego Rivera's mural in Rockefeller Center was destroyed in February of 1934. The unauthorized performance of "The Cradle Will Rock" took place on 16 June 1937. Hallie Flanagan testified before Congressman Dies' committee on 6 December 1938. For artistic effect, the film makes it seem that the three events occur simultaneously. See more »

Quotes

Congressman Starnes: You are quoting from this Marlowe. Is he a Communist?
Hallie Flanagan: I am very sorry. I was quoting from Christopher Marlowe.
Congressman Starnes: Tell us who Marlowe is, so we can get the proper reference, because that is all we want to do.
Hallie Flanagan: Put in the record that he was the greatest dramatist in the period immediately preceding Shakespeare.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Broadway: The American Musical (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Honolulu
Written by Marc Blitzstein
Performed by Timothy Jerome (as Tim Jerome), Victoria Clark (as Vicki Clark),
Erin Hill, Daniel Jenkins (as Dan Jenkins)
Courtesy of RCA Records
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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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