We're in the Money

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9780061319488: We're in the Money

Looking at the figures for movie attendance in the 1930s, one might conclude that the America of the Great Depression was a land of Bijous, Gems, Orpheums, Strands, and Rivieras. Americans needed their movies, as Mr. Bergman notes, and they needed them not just for escape. In We're in the Money, Mr. Bergman looks at the films of the thirties (many of them which we now regard as classics) and shows how Hollywood helped prop up the nation's fundamental institutions during the gravest economic crisis in history. Movies, he demonstrates, kept alive the myth of a mobile and classless society, focused on the endless possibilities for individual success, turned social evil into personal evil, and made the New Deal into a veritable leading man. "The kind of book that both old film buffs and the new post-grads of `Sesame Street' can really enjoy. It makes history fun, enables teachers and kids to test out their own assumptions about how the 30s turned out the gangsters, the hi-steppers, the FBI gurus, the zany anarchists and the mythical down-on-the-farm good guys who took on the whole punchy and reeling microcosm of America."€”Robert Geller, Center for Understanding Media. "First rate. It should stand for a long time as a pioneer work in a field where all too little has been written."€”Alfred B. Rollins, Jr.

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About the Author:

Andrew Bergman, who studied history at the University of Wisconsin, is a Hollywood screenwriter whose films include Blazing Saddles, The In-Laws, Fletch, and The Freshman, which he also directed. He lives in New York City.

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