The legendary Orson Welles
(Citizen Kane) is involved in this production ... sort of.
In the late '30s, Welles tried to get funding to make a film about the early days of the Federal Theater that he was a member of. One of the Federal's productions was The Cradle Will Rock, a play about a greedy industrialist who gets his comeuppance. It was a government funded production that suddenly had its funding withdrawn when the play was seen as an attack on capitalism.
Welles and his troupe put the play on anyway. It was a novel production in which the audience followed the cast members around. This film is the story of that production combined with the story of the old Federal Theater. Bill Murray
appears as a drunken vaudevillian who presents himself as a pain in the butt to the entire theater company, including its artistic director, Orson Welles
The only criticism I have about this movie, if it can be called a criticism is that it takes a keen mind to get into it. After learning who's who and what's what it is veryy easy to watch. I found it a total joy. The story the acting, the entire production. I have only seen "Cradle" in September 2008, during a very important presidential election campaign which made it all the more powerful. The issues of the time are never trivial. While there are a lot of powerful statements in the film, I personally found the fact that the union actors performing a film about union solidarity defied the union to celebrate their art. That is not to ignore the Diego Rivera debacle, which I personally
Fantastic!!! A great compilation of the euphoria of the late 1930`s.
Brilliant and inspiring film with a stellar cast and expert direction.