Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s

Watch Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s

  • NR
  • 2014
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.5  (36)
  • 65

Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s is an insightful and entertaining documentary that recounts the rise of Esquire magazine during its golden age in the 1960s. Told through the eyes of its surviving editors, writers, and contributors, the film explores the magazine's influence on American culture as it pioneered new forms of journalism, photography, and satire.

Directed by Tom Hayes, the film features interviews with luminaries of that era, including legendary filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, author Gay Talese, comedy writer Tom Wolfe, model Jean Shrimpton, and many others. Their stories paint a vivid portrait of the era, its politics, and its cultural landmarks, giving the viewer a sense of what it was like to be at the forefront of a revolution that transformed American publishing.

At the heart of the film is the story of Harold Hayes, Esquire's charismatic editor who led the magazine from 1963 to 1973. A gifted writer and editor, Hayes saw the magazine as a platform for creating a new kind of journalism, one that combined literary techniques with political and cultural commentary. Through interviews with his colleagues and family members, the film reveals Hayes' vision and his struggles to bring it to reality.

The film also explores Esquire's groundbreaking approach to photography, which brought a new level of sophistication and artistry to magazine publishing. The magazine's signature feature, "Dubious Achievements," used satirical photos to critique American society and politics with a wit that was both sharp and playful. The film showcases some of the most memorable images from the magazine's archives, as well as interviews with the photographers and editors who created them.

The documentary also sheds light on Esquire's music coverage, which helped introduce the world to popular artists like Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Featuring rare footage of interviews and performances, the film captures the excitement and energy of the musical revolution that was taking place in America during this time.

Beyond its cultural impact, the film also explores the politics of the era, as Esquire devoted extensive coverage to the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and other key issues of the day. The film features interviews with key figures in these movements, as well as footage that captures the era's tumult and unrest.

Overall, Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s is a captivating look at a pivotal era in American journalism and culture. Its engaging interviews, rare footage, and insightful commentary provide a fascinating window into a time of change and upheaval. Whether you were alive during this time or not, this documentary is sure to leave you with a newfound appreciation for the legacy of Esquire magazine and the minds that made it a cultural force.

Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s is a 2014 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 65.

Where to Watch Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s
Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s is available to watch free on Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (36)
  • Metascore