Modern Matinees: Hollywood and the Great Depression, 1933

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As the Great Depression hit bottom in 1933, tens of millions of Americans found solace in the movies, where 15 cents bought admission to an infinite range of alternative realities. Some films offered escapism and reassurance, others offered hypothetical solutions to social problems across the political spectrum. Presented in four thematic groupings, the films in this series—all drawn from MoMA’s collection—present a cinematic portrait of 1933, a year when movie make-believe was truly indispensable.—MoMA