One Third Of A Nation

2338. ONE THIRD OF A NATION (1939-USA). WITH sylvia Sidney, leif erikson (ERICKSON), MYRON McCORMICK, HIRAM SHERMAN, SIDNEY LUMET, IRIS ADRIAN. This poignant and incisive social drama is set amid the contrasting worlds of the very rich and very poor in Depression-era New York City. The underclasses live lives of not-so-quiet desperation in the Lower East Side tenements, a number of which have lately been going up in flames. Young Joey Rogers barely escapes with his life from the latest burning building. Its owner is wealthy Peter Cortlant, who is attracted to Mary and generously offers to pay all of Joey’s hospital bills. Mary rails to Peter that the just-demolished building was a firetrap. Peter agrees that its owner is no better than a cold-blooded murderer. What Peter (who has just returned from abroad) does not know is that this building is “one of the Cortlant tenements” he has just inherited. The film was based on a controverÂsial play produced by the Federal Theatre project of the W.P.A, (Works Project Administration). It was shot on location on the streets of New York’s Lower East Side, resulting in a gritty reality that could not be matched in similar films that were shot on Hollywood soundstages. Cast as Joey is a young actor who grew up to become an illustrious television and film director: fifteen-year-old Sidney Lumet, The film’s title was derived from a passage in President Franklin Roosevelt’s second inaugural address in which he declared, “I see one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-dad, ill-nourÂished…” 75 minutes Drama