Internationally acclaimed and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mike Leigh portrays one of the bloodiest episodes in British history, the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819, where government-backed cavalry charged into a peaceful crowd of 80,000 that gathered in Manchester, England to demand democratic reform.
The film Peterloo will mark the 200th anniversary of the notorious Peterloo Massacre.
On 16 August 1819, a crowd of some 60,000 people from Manchester and surrounding towns gathered in St Peter’s Fields to demand Parliamentary reform and an extension of voting rights. The meeting had been peaceful but in the attempt to arrest a leader of the meeting, the armed government militias panicked and charged upon the crowd. The toll of casualties has always been disputed, but as many as 15 people were killed and up to 700 wounded. The immediate effect of the massacre was a crackdown on reform, as the authorities feared the country was heading towards armed rebellion. However, the outcry led to the founding of the Manchester Guardian and played a significant role in the passage through Parliament of the Great Reform Act 13 years later.
The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had resulted in periods of famine and chronic unemployment, exacerbated by the introduction of the first of the Corn Laws. By the beginning of 1819, the pressure generated by poor economic conditions, coupled with the relative lack of suffrage in Northern England, had enhanced the appeal of political radicalism. In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a group agitating for parliamentary reform, organised a demonstration to be addressed by the well-known radical orator Henry Hunt.
2h | Drama | 18 April 1982 (USA)
Brazilian drama film directed by Leon Hirszman, based on Gianfrancesco Guarnieri’s play of the same name. Union leader’s son doesn’t want to engage in a strike, because his wife is pregnant, thus disregarding his father’s tradition of political activism. The film revolves around a working-class family in São Paulo in 1980. Otávio, a syndicalist leader, and Romana are the parents of Tião, whose girlfriend, Maria, becomes pregnant. Fearing to be fired and thus unable to support his now fiancée, Tião does not participate on a strike, which starts a series of family conflicts.
Jack Adams, spokesman for workmen in a factory, pleads with the owner, Griscom, against a twenty percent cut in wages. Griscom refuses to consider the men’s side, so the men walk out. Jack, seeking work at another factory, is “black-listed.” He leaves in an ugly mood. Unable to find work anywhere, he is reduced to starvation. His wife needs a doctor. Jack sends a note to Griscom pleading to be taken back. Griscom answers, “Glad to see you so humble, but you can’t work for me.” Jack, irate, determines on vengeance. Outside Griscom’s mansion Jack is overcome by weakness. Elsie, Griscom’s favorite child, finds Jack, and has him taken into the house. Griscom comes in, suspects Jack’s intentions, and accuses him. Jack tells of his terrible suffering. Elsie tries to console him. Jack is overcome. Griscom relents and offers food. Jack refuses. Elsie puts her arms around Jack, and he accepts the food. The touching scene penetrates the armor of Griscom’s selfishness, and he offers his hand to Jack, who accepts it.
Drama directed by Ray Enright and starring James Cagney as a truck driver who gets mixed up in a union dispute after a union leader is killed and his girlfriend is kidnapped after witnessing the crime.
Trucker Eddie Kennedy gets involved with the law when he has an car accident with Ann Reid and knocks the owner of a dairy out. He evades a penalty when he claims, that he had done it as an act of solidarity with the farmers. The farmers start an boycott action against this dairy, so the owner has to bring milk from elsewhere to his dairy, but the farmers closed the road, and Kennedy is arrested once more. He leaves jail at night to meet Ann, but meanwhile the owner has asked some mobsters to deliver the milk. One of the farmers is murdered, Ann Reid is missing and Eddie Kennedy is accused of murder.
1936 crime film starring James Cagney and Mae Clarke. In the film, an honest inspector for the New York Department of Weights and Measures takes on corrupt merchants and politicians.
Directed by John G. Blystone
Written by James Edward Grant (story)
Screenplay by Henry McCarty
Starring James Cagney
Release date: December 1936
Running time: 75 minutes
Country United States
Full film here