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Cradle Will Rock (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,890 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 160 user | 70 critic | 31 from

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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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) »


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

Did You Know?


Originally, an adaptation of 'The Cradle Will Rock' was supposed to be filmed in 1984. Amy Irving and Rupert Everett were already cast in their roles and was supposed to be filming in Rome when the production fell apart. See more »


At 36 when the film was released, Angus Macfadyen is visibly far older than Orson Welles was supposed to be during the time the film is set. When the opens, in 1935, he was only 20 years old and even at the climax, in 1937, he'd still only be 22. See more »


John Houseman: I've always said the play would be better on a bare stage.
Orson Welles: Actually, Hallie said that.
John Houseman: No, I said it first.
Orson Welles: No you didn't.
John Houseman: Yes I did.
Orson Welles: No, you didn't!
John Houseman: Yes, I did!
Orson Welles: No, you DIDN'T!
John Houseman: Yes, I BLOODY WELL DID!
Orson Welles: Oh, *fine*, Jack! You win, you've got the biggest creative dick, okay?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


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


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
See more »

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User Reviews

What is YOUR price?
1 February 2000 | by (Norwalk, CT) – See all my reviews

This is a classically written piece about the corruptability and compromises of politicians, businessmen and yes even artists. Tim Robbins is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I'll admit I had a hard time trying not to misinterpret the dialog, but at least the movie made me think. I also commend Robbins for tackling the hypocrisy involved in being an artist. It's slow, but give it a chance. By the end of this movie the levels and themes he's hitting on tie together very, very well.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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