Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff

Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff

An Expanded Guide to Films about Labor
The revised and expanded edition of Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff offers 350 titles compared to the original edition's 150. The new book is global in scope, with examples of labor films from around the world. Viewers can turn to this comprehensive, annotated guide for films about unions or labor organizations; labor history; working-class life where an economic factor is significant; political movements if they are tied closely to organized labor; production or the struggle between labor and capital from a "top-down"—either entrepreneurial or managerial—perspective. Each entry includes a critical commentary, production data, cast list, MPAA rating (if any), suggested related films, annotated references to books and websites for further reading, and information about availability of films for rental and/or purchase. This edition addresses both historical and contemporary films and features many more documentaries and hard-to-find information about agitprop and union-financed films.

Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Expanded Guide to Films about Labor features fifty-eight production stills and frame enlargements. It also includes a greatly expanded Thematic Index of Films. Two new sections will help the reader discover labor films in chronological order or by nationality or affiliation with certain cinematic movements.

To read Tom Zaniello's blog on the cinema of labor and globalization, featuring even more reviews, visit

Praise for the earlier edition—

"Zaniello has created a useful and far-reaching guide with abundant information. . . . These are the sorts of films that prove what James Agee wrote in these pages nearly fifty years ago: 'The only movies whose temper could possibly be described as heroic, or tragic, or both, have been made by leftists.'"—The Nation

"Zaniello has done a monumental job identifying the films that should be included in this genre. . . . Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff is sorely needed and long overdue."—Cineaste

"An engaging and opinionated book. . . . Even though mining, trucking, Jimmy Hoffa, and class warfare are the book's major themes, what holds the project together is Zaniello's sense of fun and wit. [Zaniello is] a better writer than most major film critics."—Village Voice Literary Supplement

Also of interest

The Next Upsurge
Labor and the New Social Movements
Dan Clawson


Art : Cinema, Television, and Media Studies
Labor and Workplace Issues : Industrial and Labor Relations

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