Movies and Film: Films Worth Viewing

Films Worth Viewing

Since the decision about what films are produced get made in the end by the people who run Hollywood, there are not, as you might expect, many films about Hollywood unions. Still, there are some films about entertainment labor history that you might find intriguing:

  • Hollywood Shuffle (1987). The underbelly of the Hollywood industry from the perspective of an African American actor trying to break into showbiz.
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952). A specific if fanciful look at the technologies of early film.
  • The Front (1976). This Woody Allen film (directed by Martin Ritt) gives a detailed sense of the difficulties Hollywood faced during the McCarthy era.
  • The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies (1995). A little too celebratory, and a little light on information, but this documentary does give some sense of the evolution of the job categories in Hollywood.
  • Cradle Will Rock (1999). Though not about film, this movie gives a rather nice sense of the nastiness that characterizes American antiunionism.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Movies and Film © 2001 by Mark Winokur and Bruce Holsinger. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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