Labor Day Films
“Without labor nothing prospers”
Since the beginning, Hollywood has produced films depicting the hardships and tragedies of working people. These films were generally successful because they told a universal story: the human experience. The films were not always perfect and pretty; they were often depressing and painful. The effective films were searing in their depiction of working people who felt they were ignored, shoved aside, or simply not respected as human beings.
And so, on this Labor Day Weekend, let us reflect on all this. A great way, of course, is to stream one (or maybe all) of the films I’m recommending:
How Green Was My Valley
Huw Morgan is the youngest son in a Welsh coal mining family of nine. His childhood is idyllic: everyone in town gets along; the men working…
Cesar’s Last Fast
The documentary dives deeply into the personal life, vision, and legacy of Cesar Chavez, focusing on his 1988 thirty-six day fast known as the “Fast for Life.”…
The Grapes of Wrath
An adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel of the same name, the film, directed by John Ford, follows the excruciating journey of the Joad family from the Oklahoma dust bowl…
Harlan County, USA
Initially, the film intended to follow the attempt of the Miners for Democracy to unionize the miners at the Brookside Mine in Harlan County, Kentucky…
Two days before Christmas, in 2008, General Motors closed its plant in Moraine, Ohio, a small town outside Dayton. 10,000 people became unemployed…
Norma Rae is a tired, small-town textile worker trying to support her family on her small salary. She’s a woman with no great education but with a lot of common sense…
Well, looking for something more cheerful? Try streaming these two:
The film portrays Charlie Chaplin in his Tramp persona as a factory worker employed on an industrial assembly line. Frenetically feeding an inhuman machine, he ends…
The Pajama Game
Based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical by the same name, the story begins with the arrival of Sid, the newly-hired superintendent…
Coming Soon, Can’t Wait
Witty and Wise Quotes About Labor
It takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you did it wrong (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)…The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one (Oscar Wilde)…The only thing that sat its way to success was a hen (Sarah Brown)…The problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you’re finished (Groucho Marx)…People are still willing to do an honest day’s work. The problem is they want a week’s pay for it (Joey Adams)…My boss told me to start every presentation with a joke. The first slide was my paycheck (Anonymous)…I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need if I die before four o’clock (Henny Youngman)…Where people are not having fun they seldom produce good work (David Ogilvy)…By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be the boss and work twelve hours a day (Robert Frost)…Behind every successful man is a woman and behind her is his wife (Groucho Marx).
IN CASE YOU MISSED OUR OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS
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