Our Daily Bread & Other Films of the Great Depression
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(Aug 10, 1999)
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- Titles Include: King Vidor's Our Daily Bread (with prologue, 1934, 78 min.), California Election News #1 and #2 (13 min.), Pare Lorentz's The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936, 25 min.), Pare Lorentz's The River (1937, 31 min.), Joris Ivens' Power and the Land (1940, 37 min.) and H.P. McClure's The New Frontier (1934, 10 min.)
Top Customer Reviews
The movies themselves: As John Marr points out in his review below, "Our Daily Bread" is a little dated and corny in its story and acting, but it's still a fine movie made by a superb American director, King Vidor. Vidor made this movie independently -- hence some of the non-professional actors. But it's well-crafted and features an astonishing and now-classic irrigation sequence at the climax. The other films vary in quality, but all of them are historically important. "The New Frontier" is a short piece of fluff news about the kind of cooperative community that inspired "Our Daily Bread." The two California newsreels are infamous for having used professional actors and not "average joes"; historians think that these propoganda pieces helped defeat the left-wing Upton Sinclair during his gubernatorial bid in 1934. (The first newsreel is actually quite subtle, but the second is pretty transparent.) More artistically interesting are the three documentaries: Pare Lorentz's "Plow that Broke the Plains" and "The River" and Joris Ivens' "Power and the Land.Read more ›
Written by Vidor, OUR DAILY BREAD tells the story of a dispossessed urban couple who decide to try their luck at farming by organizing a co-operative community of tradesmen, all committed to establishing a livelihood of self-sufficiency off the land. Karen Morley and Tom Keene give heartfelt performances in the lead roles, with apt support from John Qualen as a Swede - a character he specialized in, Barbara Pepper as a brassy blonde, and Addison Richards as an escaped con who makes a noble sacrifice to benefit the cause.
The film exhibits the general attitude of most Americans who felt betrayed by politicians and business magnates whom they viewed as being directly responsible for the economic crisis. It also delivers a message of hope that, with mutual effort and determination, any obstacle can be overcome. When viewed within the context of its times, OUR DAILY BREAD can be better appreciated as being instrumental in lifting the spirits of a generation fallen on hard times. Propaganda or not, they needed a film like this. The final sequence in which workers are digging an irrigation ditch and the water is unleashed, racing down toward a parched cornfield, is one of the most exhilarating cinematic moments of all time.Read more ›
It's understandable the praise that's been heaped upon `Films of the Great Depression'. It's an interesting piece of time travel that documents a difficult time in America.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read several books on the Great Depression, and the experience of doing so was far superior to the films contained on this DVD. Read morePublished on February 23, 2013 by Loyd Eskildson
If you like 30's type films, this is for you. We bought this to teach my 13 yo about the Depression and it's a powerful teaching tool. Read morePublished on January 13, 2011 by Amazon Customer
"I think adults realize they have to reconnect with the past, so they can understand the hardships that their forebearers have overcome. Read morePublished on September 22, 2009 by M. Hess
i gave one star beacuse it is not color this very old movies i want some in color about depression i have the prombleof the derpression of you have any movies about this please... Read morePublished on July 29, 2002 by susan / Bob Webb