Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hollywood and the Great DepressionAmerican Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

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

‘We’re Only Kids Now, But Someday …’: Hollywood Musicals and the Great Depression ‘Youth Crisis’

‘We’re Only Kids Now, But Someday …’: Hollywood Musicals and the Great Depression ‘Youth Crisis’

(p.216) Chapter 11 ‘We’re Only Kids Now, But Someday …’: Hollywood Musicals and the Great Depression ‘Youth Crisis’
Hollywood and the Great Depression

David Eldridge

Edinburgh University Press

A number of Hollywood social dramas had documented the ‘youth crisis’ of the Depression era – limited employment prospects, vagrancy, delinquency, deprival of normal childhood. MGM’s Babes in Arms (1939), made when the worst of the economic crisis seemed over, was the first to do so in musical form. It confronted audiences not only with visions of an angry army of youth, but with young Americans facing impoverishment, crumbling parental authority, the threat of being taken into care, and incipient delinquency. Its commercial success spawned three other musicals – Strike Up the Band (1940), Babes on Broadway (1941) and Girl Crazy (1943), each of which raised the spectre of the ‘youth crisis’ that perplexed politicians, educators and sociologists. All of them had a happy ending, however, through the utopian instrument of kds putting on a musical show that demonstrated their capacity for collective action in a good cause, for still having wholesome fun, and for demonstrating patriotism.

Keywords:   MGM, Great Depression, Youth Crisis, New Deal, Musicals

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.