Cradle Will Rock

Synopsis: In 1930s New York Orson Welles tries to stage a musical on a steel strike under the Federal Theater Program despite pressure from an establishment fearful of industrial unrest and red activity. Meanwhile Nelson Rockefeller gets the foyer of his company headquarters decorated and an Italian countess sells paintings for Mussolini.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Tim Robbins
Production: Buena Vista Pictures
  5 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min


Italy stands poised to invade Ethiopia...

under the leadership

of Benito Mussolini.

In a speech to thousands of supporters

last week, Mussolini recalled...

the glory of Roman empires past,

calling on his supporters to join with him

to reclaim lands rightfully belonging to them.

Facing Mussolini's highly mobilized war

machine is Haile Selassie of Ethiopia,

who must rely on high-spirited

but poorly armed tribal forces...

to defend his monarchy.

In a concerted effort to rid Germany of

what he views as degenerate influences,

Chancellor Adolph Hitler last week

opened an exhibition of condemned art.

A dabbler in oils

and water colors himself,

Chancellor Hitler said in a statement that

he is not anti-art but anti-decadence...

and despises art that portrays Germany

in a negative and unsympathetic fashion.

Here at home, American spirits continue

to rebound from economic hard times...

with jobs made possible

by Washington, D. C.

Fear is vanishing...

and confidence is growing

on every side.

With the press of a button, Roosevelt puts

into operation the Tennessee Valley Dam,

a monumental accomplishment

that provides flood control...

and electricity to the southern states.

Another stunning achievement made possible

by the millions of unemployed men and women...

put back to work by

the Works Progress Administration.

Things are looking up

indeed for Americans,

as we look to the future

with hope and high vision.

Fashion designers for years have competed

for the attention and discerning eye...

of the female consumer.

Everything from bathing suits to evening

gowns have been designed for the female form.

- But what aboutjunior?

- Hey, Dave, is that you?

Children's fashion was the star

in Miami, Florida, this week.

Everything from underwear to evening

wear graced the tiny runways...

as discerning children took notice

of the threads coming their way.

Better not ask this little guy

to wear a tie. Mommy!

If dog is man's best friend, then

perhaps the cat is this lady's chum.

A very large cat indeed.

The Magnificent Wanda

and her lion, Kitty,

helped initiate the Federal Theater's

circus project last week.

The latest in a series

of low-cost entertainments...

produced by the maverick

W. P. A. program.

- Hey!

- Vaudeville, Shakespeare and lion tamers.

Brought to you by Uncle Sam,

courtesy of the W. P. A.

And stay out, you runt!

Each little tear and sorrow

Only brings you closer to me

Just wait until tomorrow

What a happy day that will be

- Song for a nickel, mister?

- What?

- I'll sing you a song for a nickel.

- No, thank you.

Somewhere the sun is shining

So, honey don't you cry

Closer to me

just wait until tomorrow

What a happy day that will be

Come up to my room


I ain't in Steeltown long

I work two days a week

The other five

my efforts ain't required

For two days out of seven

Two dollar bills I'm given

So I'm just searchin'

Along the street

For on those five days

Five days

For on those five days

For on those five days

It's nice to eat



Who said

let's eat


It was amazing. It was...

So, it was the most exciting

thing in my life.

- Negroes, dear?

- Yes, Negroes.

- All Negroes?

- All Negroes, dear.

- It was a minstrel show?

- No. Macbeth.

I said it before.

Macbeth. Shakespeare.

- With Negroes?

- Yes.

Carlo says it's unlucky

to say Macbeth in the theater.

- So what do they call it? What is it, Carlo?

- "The Scottish play. "

Yes, the Scottish play, but there isn't

anything Scottish in this production.

I don't know a lot of Negro Scots.

Oh, Gray dear,

you don't know a lot of Negro anything.


Oh, dear. I know.

I had a call last night.

- Not you, thank God.

- What is?

Steel strike. Labor riots.

Well, the reception for

the Italian exhibit is today, noon.

- Italian exhibit at noon.

- Please don't be late.

- Carlo and I are going to see a theatrical producer today.

- Mm, theatrical producer?

- To learn about the artistic process.

- Artistic process?

- Yes.

- What time is the exhibit?


I'll be there, darling.

- Dad, when is Mommy coming home?

- In a couple of days.

- "Churn. "

- C-H-U-R-N.

- What's the baby's name?

- "Person. "

- P-E-R-S-O-N.

- What's the baby's name?

- Antonio. You like that?

- Yeah.

- A-I-N-T-I-N-O?

- What?

Excuse me, miss.

Is this line for to get job?

- I think so.

- I am carpenter. I work with my hands.

- It is good government wants to build.

- Yeah.

- I build with wood. What you do?

- Yeah?

I think this might be the wrong line.

This line is for theater.

- It's for actors and musicians, I believe.

- You're actress?

Yeah. Is this the right line

for the Federal Theater Project?

I think this is

the line for everything.

- Are there other lines?

- There's other lines inside.

- Are there lines for theater jobs inside?

- I believe so.

- I work anywhere. I dig ditches, pour slag, act.

- Flanagan?

- Does not matter.

- Mrs. Flanagan!

Mrs. Flanagan.

- Aren't you Hallie Flanagan?

- Yes. Mr...

- Beaver. I'm a beaver.

- Mr. Beaver, what can I do for you?

Well, I'm completely embarrassed,

but I heard you'd be here today,

and I'm a playwright,

and I've written a children's play.

It's called Revolt Of the Beavers,

and I want to know if you'd read it.

- Absolutely. You have to fill out submission forms.

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Tim Robbins

Timothy Francis Robbins (born October 16, 1958) is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and musician. He is well known for his portrayal of Andy Dufresne in the prison drama film The Shawshank Redemption (1994). His other roles include Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham, Jacob Singer in Jacob's Ladder, Griffin Mill in The Player, and Dave Boyle in Mystic River, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and for directing films such as Dead Man Walking and Bob Roberts, both of which received critical acclaim. In 2015, he played Secretary of State Walter Larson in the HBO comedy The Brink, and in 2018 he portrayed Greg Boatwright in Alan Ball's drama series Here and Now. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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