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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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Our Daily Bread: ‘Cooperation’, ‘Independence’ and Politics in Mid-1930s Cinema

Our Daily Bread: ‘Cooperation’, ‘Independence’ and Politics in Mid-1930s Cinema

(p.181) Chapter 9 Our Daily Bread: ‘Cooperation’, ‘Independence’ and Politics in Mid-1930s Cinema
Hollywood and the Great Depression

Brian Neve

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter revisits and explores the production history of director King Vidor’s independently made movie, Our Daily Bread (1934), its ideological and aesthetic motifs, and its exhibition and reception in the United States and beyond, not least its apparent failure at the box office. It further considers the relationship between the film and contemporary advocacy of cooperative activity as a response to the Great Depression, notably by the California Cooperative League, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California campaign for the state governorship. It also assesses the movie in relation to Vidor’s own cooperative vision through its emphasis on individuals and community as a solution to the Great Depression and the significant absence of the state in this agency.

Keywords:   King Vidor, Our Daily Bread, Cooperative vison, Independent production, EPIC

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