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Hollywood during the Depression: This Day and Age

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Event starts at 7:30 p.m. 
Price at the door:  $5.00

This Day and Age

Portage Theater
4050 N Milwaukee Ave, chicago, IL 60600
Click here for location info

THIS DAY AND AGE

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille • 1933

One of the more unaccountable artifacts in the history of American cinema, DeMille’s filmic op-ed opens with

montages of barreling airplanes and never lets up from there. DeMille returns to the high school milieu of The

Godless Girl when that institution was still so fresh on the mass culture landscape that any examination of it felt

ultra-contemporary and important. Temporarily empowered with law-enforcement authority in a Boys Week gambit,

the valedictorians of North High School embark on a vigilant crusade to rid the city of the gangsterism that the

adults and their due process niceties can’t quash. Though nominally one of DeMille’s modern stories, the boys’

solutions have a decidedly Old Testament flavor, not least extracting information from one hood by dangling him

over a pit of live rats. Simultaneously awestruck by (and approving of) fascist methodology and solidly anti-bigotry

(the boys’ crusade is set in motion by the murder of a Jewish tailor), This Day and Age is civic-minded in a one-ofa-

kind way. As a social document of the anxieties and options in the air at the dawn of the New Deal era, This Day

and Age remains unmatched. It also includes a line about olives that ranks with the filthiest moments of pre-Code

Hollywood. (KW)

86 min. • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

About the artists:

This Day and Age

THIS DAY AND AGE

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille • 1933

One of the more unaccountable artifacts in the history of American cinema, DeMille’s filmic op-ed opens with

montages of barreling airplanes and never lets up from there. DeMille returns to the high school milieu of The

Godless Girl when that institution was still so fresh on the mass culture landscape that any examination of it felt

ultra-contemporary and important. Temporarily empowered with law-enforcement authority in a Boys Week gambit,

the valedictorians of North High School embark on a vigilant crusade to rid the city of the gangsterism that the

adults and their due process niceties can’t quash. Though nominally one of DeMille’s modern stories, the boys’

solutions have a decidedly Old Testament flavor, not least extracting information from one hood by dangling him

over a pit of live rats. Simultaneously awestruck by (and approving of) fascist methodology and solidly anti-bigotry

(the boys’ crusade is set in motion by the murder of a Jewish tailor), This Day and Age is civic-minded in a one-ofa-

kind way. As a social document of the anxieties and options in the air at the dawn of the New Deal era, This Day

and Age remains unmatched. It also includes a line about olives that ranks with the filthiest moments of pre-Code

Hollywood. (KW)

86 min. • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal




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