Only at CFS: An Ode to Child Labor, with Songs and W. C. Fields – Song of the Open Road Screens 11/21 in 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, November 21 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by S. Sylvan Simon • 1944
Hollywood’s ode to child labor if there ever was one, Song of the Open Road stars teen actress Jane Powell (playing teen actress “Jane Powell”), who takes leave of an overbearing stage mother (Joseph Cornell’s own Rose Hobart) and a studio system intent on monopolizing her time and energy to find excitement and adventure picking lima beans for the USDA’s Crop Corps, a wartime effort to enlist teenagers to fill farm work vacancies. A regular Celine or Julie, Jane (disguised in a dyed brown bob as “Jane”) is fast enthralled observing her fellow teens in romantic roundelay and meanwhile mills around the edges of their dime store dramas, inadvertently bungling the tasks she volunteers for and mussing up the routines of the young pickers she has fallen in with. An easygoing meta-musical comedy pitched as Department of Agriculture propaganda, Song of the Open Road is a film that features an unmotivated and unconvincing archeology-themed ventriloquist routine, a musical number about date crops performed atop bicycles, and a gloriously besotted W.C. Fields cameo. In other words, it’s a film you will only see at the Chicago Film Society. (CW)
93 min • Charles R. Rogers Productions • 35mm from private collections
Short: “Hit and Rum” (Ben Holmes, 1935) – 20 min – 35mm

 Check out the full schedule here!

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