IMDb > Cradle Will Rock (1999)
Cradle Will Rock
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Cradle Will Rock (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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Cradle Will Rock -- Trailer for Cradle Will Rock


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Up 115% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Tim Robbins (written by)
View company contact information for Cradle Will Rock on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 January 2000 (USA) See more »
On 12.10.99, make history. See more »
A true story of politics and art in the 1930s U.S., focusing on a leftist musical drama and attempts to stop its production. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Long on Agit Prop, But Well Captures Passionate Arts as Politics Times See more (160 total) »


  (in credits order)

Hank Azaria ... Marc Blitzstein

Rubén Blades ... Diego Rivera

Joan Cusack ... Hazel Huffman

John Cusack ... Nelson Rockefeller

Cary Elwes ... John Houseman

Philip Baker Hall ... Gray Mathers

Cherry Jones ... Hallie Flanagan

Angus Macfadyen ... Orson Welles

Bill Murray ... Tommy Crickshaw

Vanessa Redgrave ... Countess Constance La Grange

Susan Sarandon ... Margherita Sarfatti

Jamey Sheridan ... John Adair

John Turturro ... Aldo Silvano

Emily Watson ... Olive Stanton

Bob Balaban ... Harry Hopkins

Jack Black ... Sid

Kyle Gass ... Larry

Paul Giamatti ... Carlo

Barnard Hughes ... Frank Marvel

Barbara Sukowa ... Sophie Silvano

Victoria Clark ... Maxine Elliot's - Dulce Fox

Erin Hill ... Maxine Elliot's - Sandra Mescal
Daniel Jenkins ... Maxine Elliot's - Will Geer
Timothy Jerome ... Maxine Elliot's - Bert Weston

Chris McKinney ... Maxine Elliot's - Canada Lee / Rev. Salvation
Henry Stram ... Maxine Elliot's - Hiram Sherman

Adele Robbins ... Augusta Weissberger

Lee Arenberg ... Abe Feder

Allan F. Nicholls ... George Zorn
Rob Carlson ... National guardsman
Alison Tatlock ... Reporter
Dina Platias ... Lucille Schly
Pamela D. Henry ... Alma Dixon
Emma Smith Stevens ... Stagehand
Steven Tyler ... Lehman Engel
Charles Giordano ... Accordion
Jeffrey Kievit ... Trumpet
Kenneth Finn ... Trombone
Kenneth Hitchcock ... Clarinet
David D'Angelo ... Alto saxophone
David Ratajczak ... Percussion

Stephen Spinella ... Federal Theatre - Donald O'Hara

Brenda Pressley ... Federal Theatre - Rose
Brian Brophy ... Federal Theatre - Pierre de Rohan

David Costabile ... Federal Theatre - Beaver Man
Marla Schaffel ... Federal Theatre - Beaver Woman
Dominic Cortese ... Federal Theatre - Beaver Accordion Accompanist
John Carpenter ... Power - William Randolph Hearst

Gretchen Mol ... Marion Davies
Gil Robbins ... Congressman Starnes

Harris Yulin ... Chairman Martin Dies

Ned Bellamy ... Paul Edwards

V.J. Foster ... James
William Duell ... Butler
Albert Macklin ... Tailor

Scott Sowers ... Reporter

Bobby Amore ... Reporter

Lynn Cohen ... Silvano - Mama

Dominic Chianese ... Silvano - Papa

Peter Jacobson ... Silvano - Uncle
Evan Katz ... Silvano - Joey
Alysia Zucker ... Silvano - Chance

Sarah Hyland ... Silvano - Giovanna

Stephanie Roth Haberle ... Silvano - Marta (as Stephanie Roth)
Spanky McHugh ... Vaudeville - Melvin

Todd Stockman ... Vaudeville - Puppeteer

Patrick Husted ... Vaudeville - Vaudeville Theatre Manager
Jay Green ... Vaudeville - Plate Twirler
Carolyn West ... Vaudeville - Assistant Plate Twirler

Steven Skybell ... Blitzstein - Bertolt Brecht
Susan Heimbeinder ... Blitzstein - Eva Blitzstein

Audra McDonald ... Blitzstein - 'Joe Worker' Singer
Robert Ari ... Blitzstein - Liberty Committee #1
Michele Pawk ... Blitzstein - Liberty Committee #2

Gregg Edelman ... Blitzstein - Dream Larry Foreman

Matthew Bennett ... Blitzstein - Dream Cop

Brian Powell ... Rockefeller Center - Aide
Jack Willis ... Rockefeller Center - Lawyer

Gilbert Cruz ... Rockefeller Center - Mendez
Robert Hirschfeld ... Rockefeller Center - Sol

P.J. Brown ... Rockefeller Center - Guard

Michael Rivkin ... Rockefeller Center - Protester
Keira Naughton ... Rockefeller Center - Protester
Taylor Stanley ... Rockefeller Center - Claire
Tommy Allen ... Rockefeller Center - Pete
Jeff Butcher ... Rockefeller Center - Mendez Double
Sandy Hamilton ... Rockefeller Center - Sol Double

Corina Katt Ayala ... Diego - Frida Kahlo
Josie Whittlesey ... Diego - Models

Sandra Lindquist ... Diego - Models

Tamika Lamison ... Diego - Models

Edward James Hyland ... Opening - Worker in Theatre

Boris McGiver ... Opening - Man on Street

Chris Bauer ... VTA - Carpenter

Leonardo Cimino ... VTA - Man in Line

Patti Tippo ... VTA - Clerk

Carrie Preston ... VTA - Administrator
Mary Robbins ... VTA - Disgruntled Worker #1
Chris Talbott ... VTA - Disgruntled Worker #2 (as Christopher Talbott)
Susan Bruce ... VTA - Disgruntled Worker #3

Ian Bagg ... VTA - Disgruntled Worker #4

Tony Amendola ... Riot - Carl Jasper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carl Burrows ... Fireman (as Edward Burrows)

Craig DiFrancia ... Banker

Marshall Factora ... Striker
Dennis Karagovalis ... Congressional Aide

Cinda Lawrence ... VTA Worker

Kimberly Manion ... WPA Worker
Glenn Nocera ... Man on the street

Jeff Patterson ... Protestor

Alex Spencer ... Audience Member #1

Ben Van Bergen ... WPA Worker 2

Robert Aberdeen ... Congressional Aide (uncredited)

Dar Billingham ... Showgirl (uncredited)
Ed Brown ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)

Scott Charles ... Reporter (uncredited)

Peter Fernandez ... (voice) (uncredited)

Karen Lynn Gorney ... Dancer (uncredited)

Jenni Graham ... Protestor (uncredited)

Darryl Reuben Hall ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)

Marianne Hettinger ... Protestor (uncredited)
David LaRosa ... Audience Attendee (uncredited)

Lisa Lucas ... Protester (uncredited)
Michael J. Meyers ... Reporter (uncredited)

George F. Miller ... Reporter #1 at Table in Court (uncredited)
Mike Muldoon ... (uncredited)
Dan Paragon ... Banker (uncredited)
Andy Redmond ... Congressional Aide #1 (uncredited)

Tim Robbins ... Voice On Film Reel (voice) (uncredited)
Rocco ... Marcher (uncredited)

Franklin D. Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Wanda Sanders ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)

Kevin Scullin ... WPA Worker (uncredited)
Haile Selassie ... Himself (in pith helmet) (archive footage) (uncredited)
George Wilhelm ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)

Stephanie Lynn Wilson ... Demonstrator In Blu Dress With White Polka Dots (uncredited)

Directed by
Tim Robbins 
Writing credits
Tim Robbins (written by)

Produced by
Frank Beacham .... executive producer
Lydia Dean Pilcher .... producer
Allison R. Hebble .... associate producer
Jon Kilik .... producer
Louise Krakower .... executive producer
Allan F. Nicholls .... executive producer
Tim Robbins .... producer
Original Music by
David Robbins 
Cinematography by
Jean-Yves Escoffier (director of photography) (as Jean Yves Escoffier)
Film Editing by
Geraldine Peroni 
Casting by
Douglas Aibel 
Production Design by
Richard Hoover 
Art Direction by
Richard Hoover 
Peter Rogness 
Troy Sizemore (supervising art director)
Set Decoration by
Debra Schutt 
Costume Design by
Ruth Myers 
Makeup Department
Michal Bigger .... Make-up Department Head
Lynn Campbell .... makeup artist
Jane Choi .... additional assistant makeup artist
Mary Cooke .... hair stylist
Jerry DeCarlo .... hair stylist
Linda Grimes .... key makeup artist
Raul Hernandez .... hair stylist
Heidi Kulow .... makeup artist
Eva Polywka .... makeup artist
Peggy Schierholz .... hair designer
Taurance F. Williams .... hair stylist
Adenike Wright .... hair stylist
Production Management
Kelley Cribben .... post-production supervisor
Amy Herman .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Allan F. Nicholls .... first assistant director
Susan Perlman .... assistant director
Danielle Rigby .... assistant director
Shea Rowan .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Tommy Allen .... property master
JoAnn Atwood .... on-set dresser
Mark Bachman .... sign designer
Frances Catalano .... best boy construction grip
Ann Edgeworth .... props
Gerard J. Furey .... shop craftsman
Sandy Hamilton .... assistant property master
Tina Khayat .... assistant to production designer
Steven E. Lawler .... construction foreman
Byron K. Lovelace .... props
Jeffrey D. McDonald .... assistant art director
Ken Nelson .... construction coordinator
Mark Newell .... set dresser
Michael Parmelee .... set dresser
Peter Regnier .... swing gang
Karl Shefelman .... storyboard artist
Stephen Siersema .... scenic artist
Nell Stifel .... scenic artist
Dick Tice .... lead man
Robert Topol .... master scenic artist
M. Tony Trotta .... camera scenic artist
Karin Wiesel .... assistant set decorator
Joan Winters .... graphic designer
Sarah Fredericks .... set dresser (uncredited)
Alexandra Mazur .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Ajae Clearway .... assistant sound editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
Lee Dichter .... sound re-recording mixer
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... sound effects editor
Tod A. Maitland .... sound
Barry Malawski .... assistant adr editor
Tony Martinez .... dialogue editor
Jane McCulley .... supervising adr editor
Eliza Paley .... supervising sound editor
Michael Scott .... boom operator
Warren Shaw .... supervising sound effects editor
Special Effects by
J.C. Brotherhood .... special effects coordinator
Michael Broughton .... stunt cop
Lisa Cain .... stunt cop 3
David Chirico .... stunt rider
James Del Monico .... stunt rider (as James Delmonico)
Kathy Dion .... stunt cop
Ken Haas .... stunt rider
Don Hewitt .... stunt cop
Donald John Hewitt .... stunt cop (as Don J. Hewitt)
Jery Hewitt .... stunt coordinator
Jennifer Lamb .... stunt cop 1
Steve McAuliff .... stunt rider
Michael Pagan .... stunt rider
Charles Page .... stunt guard
Don Picard .... stunt cop
Michael Russo .... stunt cop 6 (as Mike Russo)
Keith Siglinger .... stunt cop 4
Derrick Simmons .... stunt cop 2
Manny Siverio .... stunt cop
Thomas J. Smith .... stunt rider
Brian Smyj .... stunt cop 5
Raymond H. Stein .... stunt rider
Jeff Butcher .... stunt double: Gilbert Cruz (uncredited)
Sandy Hamilton .... stunt double: Robert Hirschfeld (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Scott Gregoire .... electrician
Petr Hlinomaz .... assistant chief lighting technician
Thomas Landi .... electrician
Scott Maguire .... assistant camera
Jim McConkey .... Steadicam operator
Jim McConkey .... camera operator
Michael 'Flash' McDonald .... electrician
Kevin McKenna .... video assist operator
Jason Micallef .... lighting technician
Phil Oetiker .... additional camera operator
Craig Vaccaro .... key rigging grip
Casting Department
Jordan Beswick .... casting assistant
Byron Crystal .... extras casting
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Diana J. Collins .... set costumer
Lisa R. Frucht .... costume supervisor
Sheila Grover .... costumer (as Sheila Gentile)
Alix Hester .... assistant costume designer
Barrett Hong .... set costumer
Robert Pease .... set costumer
Monica Russell .... set costumer
Ajamu Walker .... wardrobe
Susan J. Wright .... assistant wardrobe supervisor
Michael Anzalone .... set wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Don Ciana .... color timer
James Y. Kwei .... additional editor
Misako Shimizu .... first assistant editor
Ian Silverstein .... second assistant editor
Neil A. Stelzner .... post-production assistant
V. Renee Taylor .... apprentice editor
Sara Thorson .... assistant editor
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor
Music Department
David Campbell .... arranger, orchestrator, conductor
Gary Chester .... score engineer
Dan Lieberstein .... music editor
Bettie Ross .... supervising music copyist
Debra C. Victoroff .... assistant music editor
Transportation Department
Timothy Paustian .... driver
Other crew
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer
Nadia Benamara .... assistant: Tim Robbins
Tyson Bidner .... location assistant
David Brotsky .... location assistant
Eva Z. Cabrera .... script supervisor
Jerry Carita .... production assistant
Kelley Cribben .... assistant to producers
Carey DePalma .... assistant location manager
Christine V. Desrochers .... assistant production coordinator
Anne Devereux .... assistant: Mr. Cusack
Johnny Egan .... production assistant
Frances Fiore .... unit publicist
Samuel V. Franco .... production assistant
Jennifer Zolten Freed .... post-production accountant
Jessica Johnson Tavenner .... second assistant accountant (as Jessica Johnson)
Nicole Klett .... location assistant
Diana E. Latham .... production coordinator
Steve Lee .... production assistant
Karen Mayen .... location assistant
Tim Monich .... dialect coach
Kellie Morrison .... location assistant
Andy Muller .... production assistant
Kip Myers .... production assistant
Jesse Nye .... production assistant
Caleb Omens .... production assistant
Cynthia Onrubia .... associate choreographer
Claudia Raschke .... operator
Demian Resnick .... location assistant
Peggy Robinson .... production assistant
Eddie Roche .... production assistant
Vernon Rodriquez .... parking assistant
Bettie Ross .... supervising copyist
Autumn Saville .... production assistant
Alan Semok .... consultant: ventriloquism
Jodi Shapera .... first assistant accountant
Dean M. Stephens .... location assistant (as Dean Stephens)
Todd Stockman .... consultant: ventriloquism
Bryan Thomas .... location manager
K.L. Connie Wang .... assistant: clearances (as Connie Wang)
Adam T. Weisinger .... production assistant
Tim Ballou .... script clearance administrator (uncredited)
Jay Geller .... metal work and welding (uncredited)
Steve Nuke .... utility stand-in (uncredited)
Rick Dior .... in memoriam
Samuel Fuller .... in memoriam (as Sam Fuller)
Steven Gorelick .... special thanks
Barton Heyman .... in memoriam
David W. Schoner Jr. .... thanks: New Jersey Motion Picture and TV Commission

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some language and sexuality
132 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
Anachronisms: The opening scene takes place in "Fall 1936", but the newsreel says Italian forces are "poised to invade" Ethiopia. The invasion actually took place in October 1935.See more »
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 »
Oh What a Filthy Night CourtSee more »


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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Long on Agit Prop, But Well Captures Passionate Arts as Politics Times, 28 October 2005
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

While it was fun seeing "Cradle Will Rock" with my mother-in-law who had some memories of the time period, I also did a huge paper on the WPA Arts Projects in graduate school (I recommend Jerry Mangione's book on the Federal Writer's Project as a good introduction) and am quite familiar with the personalities and facts involved so was curious to see it as a docudrama.

But we plus my parents felt the film was too agit-prop and the 20% of it that's over-the-top (aw come on, Hearst -- "Citizen Kane" foreshadowing, Rockefeller and a steel magnate at a Versailles costume party at the climax?) weakens the historical telling of a confluence of happenings -- the strangulation of the Federal Theater Project as a precursor victim to McCarthyism through the Dies Committee (including actual testimony wherein Christopher Marlowe was accused of being a Commie, as were the classic Greek dramatists) and Nelson Rockefeller's benighted sponsorship and then destruction of the Diego Rivera murals at Rockefeller Center.

Effectively written and directed by Tim Robbins is how passionately political the artists were, not as "card carrying Communists" per se, but as committed anti-Fascists and unionists in every aspect of their personal lives--as equally committed as they were to the magic of the theater as a communication device.

It does go over the top (including Susan Sarandon as an elegant Jewish courier to Mussolini selling stolen Old Masters), it is effective to show how TPTB were sympathetic to and profited from alliances with the fascists and how much they hated That Cripple in the White House.

Amidst the politics, the art for art's sake oversize egos of John Houseman and Orson Welles are also well portrayed, if a shade as buffoons compared to the grimness of everyone else around them, most of whom needed these WPA jobs to keep from starving (there's a toss away line that barely explains that FDR had to throw the Theater Project to the wolves in order to save his whole alphabet soup of programs for the vast majority).

It's also a bit over the top in painting those who testified at the Committee as probably crazy, but who knows. The Vanessa Redgrave character is silly but I guess it's making a point that Radical Chic is not new.

The climax of the factual occurrence, the one and only original performance of Marc Blitzstein's "ThreePenny Opera"-inspired political musical "Cradle Will Rock" is a delightful recreation, and from what I've read, true to the real story. This is definitely a very un-1990's story.

(Additional recommended background reading: "Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century" by Michael Denning (Verso, 1998, 556 pages)

(originally written 1/2/2000)

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