An examination of the cinematic and cultural discourse surrounding work, the worker, organized labor, and the working class in 20th century America, this book situates textual analysis within the context of labor and politics. Looking at both comedies (Modern Times, Gung Ho, Office Space) and dramas (The Grapes of Wrath, On the Waterfront, F.I.S.T., Blue Collar, Norma Rae, and Matewan), the book reveals how these films are not merely products of their times, but also producers of ideological stances concerning the status of capitalism, class struggle, and democracy in America. Common themes among the films include: the myth of the noble worker; the shifting status of the American Dream; and the acceptability of reform versus the unacceptability of revolution in affecting economic, political, and social change in America.
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