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Cradle Will Rock

R Released Dec 10, 1999 2h 13m History Drama List
65% Tomatometer 74 Reviews 71% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
As labor strikes break out throughout the country, New York is alive with cultural revolution. Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) commissions Mexican artist Diego Rivera (Ruben Blades) to paint the lobby of Rockefeller Center, while Italian propagandist Margherita Sarfatti (Susan Sarandon) sells Da Vincis to fund the Mussolini war effort.and Orson Welles (Angus Macfadyen) directs an infamous stage production of "The Cradle Will Rock," closed down on the eve of its opening by U.S. soldiers. Read More Read Less
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Cradle Will Rock

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Witty and provocative.

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Critics Reviews

View All (74) Critics Reviews
Anthony Lane New Yorker It could have been a mess, and there are patches where Robbins's inspiration wears a little thin; yet, all in all, his ambitious tolerance pays off... Feb 1, 2021 Full Review Christy Lemire ChristyLemire.com The let's-put-on-a-show energy can be intoxicating. But man, does it take a long time to achieve that high. Rated: 2/4 May 7, 2018 Full Review Walter Goodman New York Times It is impossible to take the show seriously, as put together in Mr. Robbins's cliche-jammed version... Nov 30, 2017 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy While writer-director Tim Robbins uses this entertaining film to touch upon capitalism and class warfare, he's mainly interested in championing artistic expression. Rated: 3.5/4 Jun 7, 2021 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Art and politics collide in Tim Robbins' ambitious but not entirely successful effort to recreate a unique moment in American culture circa 1937. Rated: C+ Aug 14, 2010 Full Review Rob Gonsalves Rob's Movie Vault The movie's radical stance is that artists should get to do their art without being destroyed by mean rich people, and aren't we just wonderful for agreeing with that? Rated: C Jul 30, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Steve D Great cast but nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 09/22/23 Full Review Audience Member In a word: "Disgusting". Not only is this film radically Marxist (even the Depression-era unions and FDR are depicted as selling out the workers as they march toward revolution!), but it's the most anti-Semitic film I ever recall seeing from a modern Hollywood production. Although the film's central hero, Marc Blitzstein, was of Jewish heritage as a matter of historical fact, that aspect of his heritage is never mentioned. The only references to Jews in "Cradle Will Rock" are a few gratuitous (i.e., completely unnecessary) mentions of Jews as friends of the lucripetous, rich characters and as friends of fascists, and in the person of Sarandon's character -- a sycophantic Jewish woman enamored with Mussolini who helps plunder Italy's cultural heritage (literally for bags of American cash!) and who implores Diego Rivera to compromise his art and Marxist ideology for Rockefeller cash. The apparent suggestion in "Cradle Will Rock" that Jews were complicit in their own persecution in the 1930's for the sake of money is disgusting, morally repugnant and wholly unworthy of the talent involved in this project. I am absolutely shocked and appalled at this film. Although I agree that the production values were better than average and the impressive all-star cast's acting was better than average (Caution: Sarandon's Italian accent and persona were of surprisingly low, street busking quality!), the film's radical Marxist and anti-Semitic messaging leave little option other than an extremely low score. Recommendation: Skip "Cradle Will Rock" unless you're a Marxist or neo-Nazi. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member A clash of artistic styles/movements--socialist realism (radical, revolutionary, populist, working-class), vaudeville (conservative, reactionary, populist), (neo-)classical (conservative, reactionary, elitist, ruling-class), and abstract--and their relation to the class struggle. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Frances H Really liked this film, which had a great deal that was very important to say and a great way to say it. Makes one feel proud to be a part of the human race. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/24/15 Full Review Audience Member Alas, Art is so Good, and Business is so Bad. But there is fun in thar if you ignore the point. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member An evidently uneven but worthwhile film. The star-studded cast (Vanessa Redgrave is a goddess!) and the interesting plot keep you going despite the tribulations courtesy of a flawed script and unfocused direction. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Cradle Will Rock

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Cast & Crew

Beloved 72% 70% Beloved Amistad 78% 79% Amistad TRAILER for Amistad Bobby 47% 72% Bobby Rosewood 87% 83% Rosewood Onegin 48% 72% Onegin Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis As labor strikes break out throughout the country, New York is alive with cultural revolution. Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) commissions Mexican artist Diego Rivera (Ruben Blades) to paint the lobby of Rockefeller Center, while Italian propagandist Margherita Sarfatti (Susan Sarandon) sells Da Vincis to fund the Mussolini war effort.and Orson Welles (Angus Macfadyen) directs an infamous stage production of "The Cradle Will Rock," closed down on the eve of its opening by U.S. soldiers.
Director
Tim Robbins
Producer
Lydia Dean Pilcher, Jon Kilik, Tim Robbins
Screenwriter
Tim Robbins
Distributor
Buena Vista Pictures, Touchstone Pictures
Production Co
Touchstone Pictures, Cradle Productions, Inc., Havoc
Rating
R
Genre
History, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 10, 1999, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Jul 1, 2015
Box Office (Gross USA)
$2.9M
Runtime
2h 13m
Sound Mix
Surround, Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS
Aspect Ratio
Scope (2.35:1)
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