Dreamland Faces

Epics of the Toilers: Working Class Silent Films


Dreamland Faces performed live musical accompaniment for two silent films about class injustice, “A Corner in Wheat” (1909) and “Labor’s Reward” (1925).

Beginning about 1907, unionists, laborers, and others sympathetic to the struggles of the working class began using the new popular entertainment of moving pictures to advance their cause. D.W. Griffith’s short film “A Corner in Wheat” (1909) was the famous director’s first attempt at social commentary. Based on The Pit by Frank Norris, the film portrays an unscrupulous financier who corners the world wheat market with disastrous results for consumers and farmers. In 1925, the American Federation of Labor wrote and produced the five-reel film “Labor’s Reward.” Its twin messages about the benefits of unionization and the importance of buying goods with a union label were conveyed through a love story between a working class man and woman. The film played to large audiences around the country, including 25 screenings in Minnesota in the fall of 1925.

Mill City Museum
704 S 2nd St, West Engine House Theater

9 pm—3 am


dreamland faces
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