UC Berkeley Library

Documentaries on the 1930's

The Promise Fulfilled and the Promise Broken. (America series)

Deals with the promise of unlimited prosperity after World War I, the boom of the 1920's, the Depression and the New Deal.

The Radio Priest. (American Experience)

Profile of Father Charles Coughlin, whose Depression-era radio speeches and the popular following they inspired led to a nationwide debate over the use of the airwaves for antidemocratic messages. 58 min.

The Twentieth Century: A Moving Visual History: The 1930s

Brings the 20th century back to life through narration, rare photographs and stunning footage. The Great Depression: The stock market crash of 1929 ushers in a severe economic crisis in the United States and contributes to the rise of international tension. Milestones include: U.S. unemployment tops 15 million; drought devastates the Great Plains; FDR implements his "New Deal"; Americans turn to baseball, radio and movies for entertainment and escapism; and Stalin begins to "purge" his enemies while Japan and Germany flex their military muscles.

The World of Tomorrow.

Describes the New York World's Fair held in 1939-1940. Shows various exhibits, featuring General Motors Futurama and the Westinghouse exhibit. Describes also the climate of the time, just after the Depression and before World War II. 1984. 58 min.

Union Maids.

Presents an adaptation of the book entitled Rank and file by Alice Lynd, about the American labor movement in the 1930's. Relates the personal experiences of three militant women who tried to organize laborers in this period. Each recalls the Depression and the intolerable conditions through which they lived and worked. They discuss the role of women in labor unions then and now, the relationship to the Women's Liberation Movement, and the future of labor unions in the United States. A film by Julia Reichert, 1976. 48 min.
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With Babies and Banners: History of the Women's Emergency Brigade.

Combines archival footage and interviews with participants to trace the role of women in the formation of the United Auto workers. Focuses on the contributions of the Women's Emergency Brigade to the labor movement of the 1930's. 1978. 45 min.

Witness to History: Days That Shook the World: 1930-1939

Part of a documentary series covering milestones of the 20th century including political turmoil, the horrors of war, medical, scientific and technological advances and social upheaval that made this century. Part four covers key events in the decade of 1930-1939.

World's Fair Archival Video.

Ford and a century of progress provides a full overview of the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair, including the Sky Ride, Enchanted Isle, Tunisian Village, Wings of a Century pageant, Ford Exposition, the Rotunda, historic cars, Avenue of Flags, World's Biggest Thermometer, G.M. and Chrysler pavillions, Midget City, and the Federal Building. 1933's focus was a look backward, while 1934 looked forward. Scenes from the New York World's Fair contains scenes of the New York World's Fair of 1940, showing the Trylon and Perisphere, sculpture and fountains, pavillions (U.S.

[Hoover, J. Edgar] G-men: The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover

(American Experience; 407). Film focuses on J. Edgar Hoover and his Government Men (G-Men) and the war they waged against the leading criminals of the 1930's. 58 min.

[Long, Huey] Huey Long.

Uses footage from old films to portray events in the life of the Louisiana politician Huey Long and discusses the opinions of several people concerning the impact of his career. 88 min.