Harry Bridges: A Man and His Union

Director: Berry Minott
Screenwriters: James Hamilton

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


This bracingly paced chronicle of the life and times of union leader Harry Bridges is the first documentary about one of this country's most prominent champions of working people, a history in microcosm of the American labor movement during the twentieth century. Leader of a powerful (and bloody) workers' revolt, hounded by red-baiters (including J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI), and ultimately hailed as a labor statesman, the plain-talking, charismatic Bridges helped bring into being the San Francisco-based International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, and ran it for nearly half a century. Under his stewardship the ILWU gained an international reputation as an honest, grass-roots union with a strong, left-wing point of view, Bridges led it through the riots and general strike of 1934" through World War II and the McCarthy era, and finally through the period of industrial automation that represented, perhaps, his biggest challenge.

A dapper dresser and natural-born talker, the magnetic Harry Bridges shines through in extended footage from both a 1973 television interview with Bill Moyers, and his testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor Relations. Studs Terkel's gritty narrative voice adds the final ingredient to this pungent portrait of the down-to-earth labor icon who died in 1990 at age eighty-nine,

Friday Jan 22 10:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Saturday Jan 23 1:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I

Wednesday Jan 21 10:00 am
Holiday Village Cinema I

Saturday Jan 30 10:00 am
Egyptian Theatre


— Robert Hawk

Screening Details


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