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Muckrakers & Reformers Movies & TV

Iron-Jawed Angels (2004)

HBO produced Iron-Jawed Angels, a dramatization of the final years in the struggle for women's suffrage. This is a fictional account geared towards modern audiences, offering a twenty-first-century soundtrack and a certain creative license when it comes to portraying what the suffragettes' lives were like—including a very steamy masturbation scene with Alice Paul (played by Academy-Award-winner Hillary Swank). The film is nonetheless worthwhile as a testament to the struggles that these young activists endured and the struggle they waged, despite the multiple divisions and controversies within their movement.

Bowling for Columbine (2002)

Check out the best work of controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, a modern day "muckraker" committed to exposing hard truths about American society.

Backstairs at the White House (1979)

This television miniseries, released in 1979, explores eight different presidential administrations, including the Taft and Wilson administrations of the Progressive Era, through the lives of White House servants, maids, cooks, and doormen.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this much-talked-about recent film adaptation of Upton Sinclair's novel about greed and faith during the early years of American oil prospecting. Drink it up!

Up in Central Park (1948)

This 1940s comedy hit features Deanna Durbin as a young woman who helps expose political corruption in New York City. Don't miss the inevitably ghoulish Vincent Price as Boss Tweed!

New York: A Documentary Film (1999)

PBS and filmmaker Ric Burns present everything you ever thought you needed to know (plus so much more) about one of the oldest cities in America. The documentary carefully weaves specific historical events that occurred within the metropolis with larger national and global developments.

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