Cradle Will Rock

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Writer/director Robbins' lightly fictionalised re-creation of the events leading up to Welles and Houseman's historic staging of Marc Blitzstein's Federal Theater Project musical is perhaps a little too long and (inevitably) theatrical for its own good, but it makes a very decent stab at evoking the social, political and artistic fervour of mid-'30s New York. The script cleverly integrates the numerous plot strands - Rockefeller becoming an unlikely bedfellow of Diego Rivera, an Italian diplomat selling Da Vincis to rich Manhattanites to gain funds for Mussolini, Blitzstein haunted by his dead wife and the spirit of Brecht - while never losing sight of the central themes of idealism and prostitution, loyalty and betrayal; moreover, Robbins elicits some very affecting performances from his expertly cast ensemble, so that the final, short-lived triumph is authentically stirring.

Release details

Duration: 133 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Tim Robbins
Screenwriter: Tim Robbins
Cast: Emily Watson
John Turturro
Hank Azaria
Susan Sarandon
John Cusack
Angus MacFadyen
Cary Elwes
Vanessa Redgrave
Bill Murray
Joan Cusack
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