Random

Film: The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

So Connie Field got the idea to do a black-and-white documentary film about American women who went to work during World War II to do the men’s job from a California “Rosie the Riveter Reunion.” Thus, with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other charitable sources, Field conducted interviews with hundreds of women who had gone into the American home front and came up with the movie The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, released September 27, 1980, at the New York Film Festival.

The documentary takes a look at the spark that ignited the women’s liberation movement nearly 30 years before it 'officially' planted its roots. With thousands of men leaving the factories to fight in the war, and with the urgent, escalating need for America to arm itself, self-sufficient women from all over the country were strongly encouraged to join the factory workforce. Many of them endured double shifts on a fairly regular basis and eventually discovered new freedoms by earning their own incomes and making their own choices, discovering skills, both as laborers and as independent women, that they never knew.

The film's title refers to the cultural ‘Rosie the Riveter’ icon representing women who wrought the manufacturing plants producing munitions and material during the Second World War. In 1996, The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’ by the Library of Congress.

Tropes:

  • As Herself: Wanita Allen, Gladys Belcher, Lyn Childs, Lola Weixel, Margaret Wright. What did you expect from a documentary?
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Archive footage of him is used.
  • The Joy of X
  • World War II: Again, it’s a documentary about the women who worked in factories while the men were at war.