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Progressive Era Politics Movies & TV

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.

The Sisters (1938)

Hollywood starlet Bette Davis stars as one of three high-society sisters who attend a celebration after the inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt. TR's long term in office, at the height of the Progressive era, serves as the backdrop for three stories of love and loss.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

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

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, including Progressive reform movements, that occurred within the metropolis with larger national and global developments.

Teddy the Rough Rider (1940)

This short biographical film, which follows the political career of Theodore Roosevelt, is part of the Ronald Reagan Signature Collection featuring highlights from Reagan's career as a Hollywood star. Although this particular selection showcases actor Sidney Blackmer (as Teddy) rather than The Gipper, it's an entertaining nugget of historical drama. Reagan appears in a supporting role.

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