The River (1938)

20 Dec
Director   Pare Lorentz
Producer   Farm Security Administration, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Contributors   Thomas Chalmers (narration); Virgil Thomson (music)
Length   31 min
B&W/Color   b&w
UO Library Catalog description:  A documentary film about the Mississippi River and the social conditions of its great valley. It shows that the destruction of forests had led to erosion and the loss of soil, floods and the loss of lives and property; and emphasizes the need for conservation and rehabilitation.
Call # FILM Mc4
Genre  government-sponsored
Rare  no
Online  yes; Internet Archive
Copyright status  public domain
Physical condition  good
Oregon-related  no


We have two 16mm copies, one VHS in UO library. This is a restored copy by Blackhawk Films of Davenport, IA. Documents the history of the Mississippi River and its tributaries; companion to The Plow that Broke the Plains. Won Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1938, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry that year, and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Produced to raise awareness and support for New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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