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Chicago In The Early 60's “The City of Necessity”

Shala Yisrael
Shala Yisrael
16 Aug 2020

Adding to Chicago's list of nicknames is “The City of Necessity” the title of this filmed glimpse of Chicago from 1961. This low key film was co-produced by a contingent of local religious organizations.
The film attempts to show the benefits of living in cities, with Chicago as an example. There are some great arial shots of Chicago's mid 20th century skyline, a parade down State Street (Check out the Department of Streets and San's space-age float at the 5:53 mark) and lots of footage of old buildings being demolished.
But the documentary's framers are also pushing for a more humane and inclusive city. The film goes into white, black and Latino neighborhoods--and the level of poverty and dilapidation is alarming by today's standards. Race and class are noted in the documentary. Mayor Richard J. Daley is heard saying "We have no ghetto, and we have no Negro ghetto". Then the film provides footage to the contrary.
There is also a all to brief look at the city's nightlife at 16:30. Featuring a montage of peep shows, tattoo parlors and other forms of adult entertainment that is set to a burlesque-grade rock and roll score. 
A copy of the film is the U.S.. National Archives.
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Above All That Drama
Above All That Drama 2 months ago

Outstanding share

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