Friday Film Feature: “The American Ruling Class” (2005)

I saw this movie, The American Ruling Class, directed by John Kirby, a few weeks ago and loved it. It’s utterly contrived, to be sure, but it works. And Lewis Lapham, long time editor of Harper’s Magazine, is perfect for the on-camera narrator role. He’s great, actually. The film follows two freshly minted Yale graduates, Jack Bellamy and Mike Vanzetti, as they move to New York City and experience “the corridors of power.” Lapham is their wizened guide for the two young men throughout the film as they hobnob with the rich and famous and very powerful. It’s a sobering and candid look at what seemingly (nay, really) makes the wheels of this country turn. It’s a semi-musical, too, with a terrific bit by Pete Seeger at the end. And there are superb cameos by folks like Barbara Ehrenreich, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Walter Cronkite, Bill Bradley, Robert Altman, Howard Zinn, and many, many others. Here’s the trailer:

The film is available to stream on Netflix, if you got it, as well as on Hulu for the masses (who have access to the Internet). Check it out. Report back.

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