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Hollywood and the Great DepressionAmerican Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s$
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Iwan Morgan and Philip John Davies

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699926

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699926.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Footlight Parade: The New Deal on Screen

Footlight Parade: The New Deal on Screen

(p.161) Chapter 8 Footlight Parade: The New Deal on Screen
Hollywood and the Great Depression

Harvey G. Cohen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapters shows how the Warner Bros. movie, Footlight Parade, part of a trilogy of Great Depression made in 1933 and also featuring 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933, epitomised the studio’s support for Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and the New Deal programme of the first Hundred Days. It also marked James Cagney’s break from being typecast as a gangster to present him as a FDR-figure overcoming a crisis. The chapter further explores how Jack and Harry Warner forsook FDR shortly after the filming of Footlight Parade to join other moguls in opposition to the National Recovery Administration’s efforts to promote the interests of organized labour. Thereafter the pro-New Deal message in the studio’s productions became muted and it reverted to escapism in its post-1933 musicals.

Keywords:   Warner Bros, Great Depression, Musicals, Footlight Parade, James Cagney, New Deal

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