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Paying the Piper

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Film Identifier: F.2006-10-0106
Run Time
0h 1m 5s
Date Produced
circa 1936
Anti-New Deal theater commercial that argues against "wasteful" government spending on the arts. The film was sponsored by "The Crusaders on the Screen," most likely produced by the Jam Handy Organization for the Republican Party in 1936.
Footage of laborers with title "Paying the Piper" overlaid on the image, followed by close-up of hand gathering coins, a stack of gold bars is also shown, which is when the narration begins: "A million dollars is a lot of money." Followed by footage of of workers at loading docks handling scrap iron.

Next sequence is a comedic interlude in which groups of women dancers in a public park perform a balletic routine; as they dance around various monuments, the voice over indicates that over a million dollars has been allocated to dance and the arts more generally. Narrator poses question: "Who pays the piper?" as a medium close-up of the Statue of Liberty comes onscreen. This segment argues against taxation and attacks it as a problematic practice which results in wasteful spending. The text "It's Time to Put a Stop to Governmental Waste" is superimposed on the figure of the Statue of Liberty.

Final shot features title card: ' "The Crusaders on the Screen" Film just shown paid for by The Crusaders - not sponsored in any way by this theatre.'
Related Place
United States (represents)