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Classic Hollywood: The movies at work
As far back as Louis Lumière's 1895 "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory in Lyon" 46-second short, work has been a central theme in motion pictures.¶There have been stark dramas about officer workers as drones (King Vidor's 1928 "The Crowd"), satires (Charlie Chaplin's 1936 "Modern Times"), angry explorations of the hardships of unemployment (John Ford's 1940 "The Grapes of Wrath") and the dangers of certain occupations (Ford's 1941 "How Green Was My Valley" about miners) or political statements such as 1979's "Norma Rae," which examined the struggle to unionize a factory. More recent films such as 1999's "Office Space" have skewered the world of bored computer drones. ¶ So in honor of Labor Day, here are some of the best Hollywood films about the workplace, whether it's an office, a farm — or even the circus.
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
September 2, 2012