I once used "It happened one night" in a course about the Great Depression. In case you're not familiar with it, it's a Frank Capra film with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It's quite upbeat as most Frank Capra films are, but you can see signs of the Depression in the background. You could also show the John Ford film, How Green was my Valley, about coal miners.
Not as perky as Pretty Woman, but less irritating.
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Dear AFEE Members,
For several years I have toyed with the idea of creating a course that would introduce students to economic ideas and content through the use of fictional films. This term I have an introduction to economics as a social science type course with low enrollment. A conventional lecture course seems less than ideal with a small group. As a result, I am strongly considering a trial by fire Economics in Fictional Film class.
Conceptually, I envision the course operating in such a manner that we view fictional films in class, I assign an reading from a thinker such as Veblen or Marx, and students are then asked to write short papers relating the theoretical content with the film content. For example, the movie Pretty Woman (Julia Roberts, Richard Gere) could be shown with an associated reading content of Veblen's "The Barbarian Status of Women." I have a list of other movies such as Office Space, Wall Street, Burn...and some reading ideas, but I am not sure I am satisfied as of yet. I am in search of some more input.
Does any AFEE member have thoughts or suggestions? I would love to hear different ideas.
Justin A. Elardo, PhD
Portland Community College