This 8-week series addresses ‘The Four Freedoms’ that President Franklin Roosevelt articulated during the Great Depression. These themes have resonated for over 80 years, and retain particular relevance in our own time.
Each movie is introduced by Mark Ethan Toporek, who also leads a post-screening discussion. He is a member of the Actors’ Studio, who has appeared in films including The Secret Lives of Dentists, The Confession and Lesser Prophets. He has been presenting the Film Series at 92Y since 2003 and at the Queens Museum since 1998.
This film series takes place in the second-floor theater and is free with Museum admission and open to the general public (with a special invitation to seniors).
Freedom of Speech:
The Male Animal (1942), directed by Elliot Nugent, 101 minutes. James Thurber’s comedy is about a college professor (Henry Fonda) defending his academic freedom while trying to keep his wife (Olivia de Havilland) from an old flame (Jack Carson).
The Front (1976), directed by Martin Ritt, 94 minutes. Woody Allen stars as an anonymous cashier who achieves fame when he serves as a ‘front’ for blacklisted television writers during the McCarthy era. With Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi and Andrea Marcovicci.
Freedom from Fear:
Good Night and Good Luck (2005), directed by George Clooney, 93 minutes. Starring David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow, this drama chronicles the media confrontation between the newscaster and Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. Co-starring George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson and Robert Downey Jr.
Intruder in the Dust (1949), directed by Clarence Brown, 87 minutes. In this adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel, the threat of racial tension rises when a gathering mob closes in on a prison that holds a black man charged with murder. With Claude Jarman Jr. and Juano Hernandez.
Freedom from Want:
Sounder (1972), directed by Martin Ritt, 105 minutes. The struggles of a poor black sharecropping family during the Depression forces the eldest son (Kevin Hooks) to assume the challenges of manhood. Starring Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson.
Salt Of The Earth (1953), directed by Herbert Biberman, 94 minutes. A writer, a director, a producer, a composer and an actor (Will Geer)—each of whom was blacklisted–worked with nonprofessionals to tell the dramatic story of a strike by Mexican miners in a New Mexico mining community.
Freedom of Worship:
The Chosen (1981), directed by Jeremy Paul Kagan, 108 minutes. This adaptation of Chaim Potok’s novel focuses on the friendship between two young Jewish men from different cultural backgrounds, and their relationships to their fathers. Starring Rod Steiger, Maximilian Schell, Robby Benson and Barry Miller.
The Bishop’s Wife (1947), directed by Henry Koster, 108 minutes. Holiday fantasy tale of a suave angel (Cary Grant) who comes to Earth to assist a young bishop (David Niven) through both moral and marital crises. Also starring Loretta Young.
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