It really was a Great Depression, if you look at the movies that were made during it; starting tonight, and continuing through Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day and the passage of the stimulus bill, Film Forum looks back at how Hollywood articulated and then conquered America’s fear (itself). On-the-make gangster and showgirl antiheroes for the starving pipe-dreamers out there; oleaginous banker villains, political profiles in courage and collectivist melodramas, for a stirred, politicized populace; wish-fulfillment musicals of uplifting spectacle; and hard-earned, resourceful, giddy screwball comedies of remarriage.
Hey, it’s like the movies always tell us: times get tough, people need the movies more than ever. So go on, go to the movies.
Pictured, incidentally, is Ginger Rogers singing “We’re in the Money,” from Gold Diggers of 1933, Bonnie Parker’s favorite movie if you believe everything you see on screen.