Rolling Stone - 01/20/2000
"...A timely rallying cry against censorship....Robbins is a world-class rabble-rouser whose playful style doesn't hide his serious intent..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life -
"Writer/director Tim Robbins has crafted an ambitous, vibrant ensemble movie..."
Premiere - 06/01/2000
"...A vivid and richly entertaining pageant..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Los Angeles Times - 12/08/1999
"...Smart and pleasingly ambition....Jones' controlled energy and charisma simultaneously drive the film and ground it in a reality..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/24/1999
"...Sweeping, ambitious....There is a lot of material to cover here, and Robbins covers it in a way that will be fascinating to people who know the period..."
While the rich are funding Mussolini's war efforts by purchasing ill-gotten masterpieces from fascist Margherita Sarfatti (Susan Sarandon), the poor, like Olive Stanton (Emily Watson), are singing on the street for a nickel. In an unlikely partnership, Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) commissions anti-capitalism artist Diego Rivera (Ruben Blades) to paint a mural. Meanwhile, Mark Blitzstein (Hank Azaria) is inspired to write a pro-union musical that is closed before it opens when Congress begins to investigate the Federal Theater Project. Based on actual events in the 1930s, writer-director Tim Robbins boldly tackles politics, the arts, and a cultural revolution.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
Cradle Will Rock
Powerful and sweeping, the critically acclaimed CRADLE WILL ROCK, starring Hank Azaria, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Bill Murray, and Susan Sarandon, takes a kaleidoscopic look at the extraordinary events of 1930s America. From high society to life on the streets, director Tim Robbins (DEAD MAN WALKING) brings Depression-era New York City to vivid life. It's a time when DaVincis are given to millionaires who help fund the Mussolini war effort and Nelson Rockefeller commissions Mexican artist Diego Rivera to paint the lobby of Rockefeller Center. A time when a young Orson Welles and a troupe of passionate actors risk everything to perform the infamous musical "The Cradle Will Rock." As threats to their freedom and livelihood loom larger, they refuse to give into censorship. Based on actual events, CRADLE WILL ROCK will move you.
Writer-director Tim Robbins weaves together historical and fictional characters dealing with the relationship between politics and the arts and the fear of communism so prevalent in the first half of the 20th century. Set in New York City in the 1930s, the action is based around a pro-union musical, CRADLE WILL ROCK, written by Mark Blitzstein (Hank Azaria). A young Orson Welles (Angus MacFadyen), as part of the Federal Theater Project, is directing Blitzstein's musical. This branch of the Works Progress Administration, established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and intended to provide jobs for unemployed Americans following the depression, and its director, Hallie Flanagan (Cherry Jones), come under fire in congressional hearings when communist influence is suspected. Politics, wealth, and the arts make strange bedfellows as fascist Margherita Sarfatti (Susan Sarandon) sells masterpieces to millionaires to fund Mussolini's war effort, Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) commissions anti-capitalist artist Diego Rivera (Ruben Blades) to paint a mural, and Countess LaGrange (Vanessa Redgrave) becomes involved in the theater company's hijinks. Ultimately, Robbins's star-studded tour de force is a tribute to the courageous individuals who refused to be silenced by censorship.
Art / Artists |
Theatrical release: December 10, 1999.
Filmed in New York City.
The dialogue in the Dies Committee Hearings scenes was taken directly from congressional records.