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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Must See

Author: smckinley-2 from United States
2 April 2007

This movie features one of our American working-class heroes. It is perfectly ironic that he was an Aussie. What a lesson for those considering immigration restrictions today!

This film should be required in all secondary schools worldwide. Bravo Ian Ruskin and Haskell Wexler!

Combining drama and theater with historical footage, this film brings to life the tumultuous times when working people in America made a great leap forward. All such movements require leaders who can make others believe that their lives are worth so much more than what some boss is willing to pay them for their labor.

Indeed, there is Strength in Unity. An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Buy this DVD; get it on the air in your community.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Inspiring! very entertaining-and funny

Author: athabasca from United States
9 March 2007

With all the things happening in America today this is a film everyone needs to see.

Through the life of Harry Bridges I learned so much about the beginnings of worker rights (longshoremen specifically) and labor history; unionization. The story covers the US depression up to the '70s - including the McCarthy era, and much more. Harry was on the cover of Time Magazine twice, spied on by the FBI, the US spent 21 years trying to deport him without success, and as an Aussie immigrant he spent his life making our Democracy live up to it's promise of equality for every man.

Ian Ruskin inhabits Harry as no one else could. I came away inspired by both Harry, who made a difference, and Ian who continues to make a difference by sharing Harry's life with us.

Very funny movie with a wicked sense of humor. Great music-and hours of amazing special features-Arlo Guthie, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Jackson Browne, and more.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

very touching and inspirational film about what one person can accomplish.

Author: cvta1 from United States
3 June 2007

"Wharf Rats" is a very cleverly written and flawlessly performed documentary of the life of labor leader, Harry Bridges. It is a touching and inspirational film.

From his childhood in Australia, to his life as a merchant mariner, labor leader and his retirement, Ian Ruskin, the writer and star of the one-man play, has captured the essence of Harry Bridges and the times in which he lived.

The film captures the joys, sorrows, trials and tribulations of Harry Bridges and the labor movement from some of its darkest hours to one of its major triumphs. It also reveals the internal strife that is the labor movement and the beauty and weakness of the democratic process.

It is both a condemnation of the political/legal process and a testimony to the importance of the U.S. Constitution as the protector of the rights of the people.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Inside the labor movement

Author: eelined from United States
3 June 2007

A moving and inspiring story based on the struggles of the working class especially the Longshoreman.

You learn the harsh reality of what it took and how much was sacrificed for workers rights to gain the benefits that are so much a part of not just the longshoreman but everyones rights in the workplace today. Anyone who strives for fairness, honesty and equality in their own life and in the lives of everyone around them should see this movie.

Ian Ruskin's performance as Harry Bridges was a true portrayal of the man and his character. You find it hard to believe it is not Harry himself you are spending time with.

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Harry Bridges

Author: rduffy1943 from Sydney, Australia
29 September 2011

This is very topical at the moment. Global warming is frightening the politicians, who have passed horrific terrorism laws and biker gang laws, that can be used against the ordinary working man. No doubt to be used when things get worse. The bankers have collected the peoples money and houses. A look back at the history of the struggles, through the depression and union repression, can show us what is being planning for us. You will be glad that Harry Bridges overcame working mens' enemies and stopped the deportation plot. He is one of many United States heroes that paved the way to a future. That of course hasn't stopped the anti worker plots, it has just made them more devious. Folksingers such as Pete Seeger, Arlo and Woodie Guthrie are well worth having a look at afterward's on You Tube with songs like Harry Simms, Joe Hill etc about other working men heroes. One can only thank the union and the Harry Bridges Project for their sterling work in presenting this. Watch it, enjoy and learn how to protect us from the greedy men. Harry Bridges Project Harry Bridges Project Harry Bridges Project Harry Bridges Project

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This Should Be Shown In Every High School In America....

Author: nilent from United States
8 September 2009

...and become the basis for a year long course that would touch on history, sociology, politics, economics, law, and media literacy. There could also be a college level version of the course also, the controversy generated would be just as educational as the, no doubt, there are still many American's who still don't "get" what the organized labor movement was/is all about.

This is a movie of a play on the life of labor leader Harry Bridges with some additional filmed scenes that was broadcast over PBS TV on Labor Day. The play is essentially a one man show in which THE MAN is Ian Ruskin, whose performance reincarnates the words and the spirit of a great working man.

The play is beautifully captured on film by director by Academy Avard winner Haskell Wexler.

Go see it for yourself, any way you can!!!

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