When I think of the 1930’s, my mind tends to float to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the blissful 10 years between the Roaring ’20s and WWII. But, deep down, I know that the era was so much more than that. It was a decade characterized by The Great Depression, by great poverty and despair, by the power of the American spirit. The cultural progresses of the decade continued well into the rest of the 20th century, and I’d like to think that this one decade proved that we can overcome a great deal when we put our minds to it. Here were some of the most lasting creations:
It is no surprise that, with the economy the way it was, people only went to the movies in order to escape their situations. Similar to the way that current pop culture tends to be big, loud and supernatural, the entertainment of the 1930’s skewed towards monsters. King Kong, Dracula and Frankenstein were all big hits during the first few years of the decade but it is 1939 that is considered by many to be the greatest year ever in film, rolling out such classics as The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind.
Many people lump the Twenties and Thirties together because of jazz music, but the genre actually took a major turn during the middle of the decade. The classic beats and rhythms gradually became bigger, more danceable, and more eurhythmic which gave us what we now know as ‘Swing’ music. Big band musicians filled banquets and dance halls as kids flipped, flitted and flew around the floor.
The 1920’s had revolutionized the way men and women dressed, bringing up hemlines and bringing down fringe. This same frivolous attitude lasted through the 1930’s, but the Depression slowly began to affect fashion and create a more somber and conservative style. For movie stars, however, things only became more glittering and glamorous. Film costumes were bold and stylish, and women in the real world attempted to recreate the look with sparkly accessories and ladylike gloves.