Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Watch Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

"The lean, mean 30's, when America laughed… to keep from crying!"
  • PG
  • 1975
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 7.1  (406)

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? is a documentary film from 1975 that explores the Great Depression and its impact on the United States. The film features a variety of archival footage, photographs, and interviews with individuals who lived through the economically tumultuous period. The Andrews Sisters, a popular singing group from the era, provide narration and perform several songs throughout the film.

The documentary begins by setting the stage for the Great Depression, which began in 1929 with the stock market crash. The Andrews Sisters explain how the country was in the midst of a period of great prosperity before the crash, and how the sudden loss of wealth and stability sent shockwaves through the nation. The film then delves into the individual stories of Americans who were affected by the Depression, including those who lost their homes, their jobs, and their savings.

One of the most impactful aspects of the film is the extensive use of visual material from the time period. The filmmakers draw from a vast array of sources, including newsreels, photographs, and even cartoons, to illustrate the harsh realities of life during the Depression. Viewers see images of breadlines, shantytowns, and unemployed workers searching for any kind of work. The film also highlights some of the more positive aspects of the period, such as the New Deal programs that provided jobs and social services to those in need.

Throughout the documentary, the Andrews Sisters provide context and commentary on the events being shown on screen. The trio's tight harmonies and vintage clothing add to the nostalgic feel of the film, and their sentimental musical performances provide a counterpoint to the often grim subject matter. In addition to singing classic songs of the era, such as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," the sisters also offer their own recollections of growing up during the Depression. Their personal anecdotes help to bring a human perspective to the larger historical narrative.

The film is also notable for its focus on the political and social issues of the time. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? highlights the labor struggles of the period, including the rise of the American Communist Party and the conflict between union organizers and big business. The filmmakers also touch on issues such as racism and immigration, showing how these factors exacerbated the problems of the Depression for some Americans. While the film doesn't shy away from the more controversial aspects of the era, it does so in a way that feels even-handed and informative.

Overall, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? is a powerful and evocative portrait of a difficult period in American history. While the film is now over 45 years old, its message feels just as urgent today as it did in 1975. By using a mix of visual and musical elements, the filmmakers create a unique and impactful viewing experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on audiences.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (406)