Movie popcorn

Classic & Contemporary: 6 Films of the 40s with Ed O'Toole

The more things change, the more they remain the same. We’ll examine and discuss six popular films made in the 1940s, each of which may seem at first quite different in many ways from contemporary films.
But things are not always what they appear to be in these movies from an era startlingly similar to ours.

Join educator and cinephile Ed O’Toole for this six-week exploration of films that are as pertinent today as they were 80 years ago as we determine how much things have changed and how much has remained the same.

The six films -- comic, melodramatic, satiric, tragic -- illuminate conflicts and themes that were front and center in the 40s, and yet reverberate in our lives and culture today: the power of the media; the cost of war; the price of duty; economic uncertainty; wealth and status; the struggle of women seeking autonomy and equality; the fragility of democracy; the struggle against autocracy; the street fight that is politics; the spectre of world war; the legacy of genocide; the end of an old way of life; the dawn of an unfamiliar tomorrow, and so many others.
The films chosen for this class are available for viewing on various subscription streaming services (Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, etc) and on DVD through the CLAMS library network. Films will not be viewed during class, though Ed will show excerpts from each one to enhance the discussion. Also, FREE POPCORN.

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

His Girl Friday (1940)

Meet John Doe (1941)

They Were Expendable (1945)

State of the Union (1948)

The Stranger (1946)

Our classes and workshops are open to students of all abilities and needs. We are currently unable to provide one-on-one instruction, though we will make every attempt to address accommodations for full and successful engagement whenever possible.
If a student requires individual supports, parent/guardian/PCA/teacher/ABA Therapists/etc are welcome to attend.
Please contact Christine Ernst, Director of Education, for more information at