In 1950, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) sponsored a documentary, With These Hands, to celebrate its first fifty years. While previous labor films had not been successful, With These Hands used Hollywood professionals—the director was Jack Arnold, who would go on to direct 1950s cult classics such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and television episodes of popular shows—and was much more popular with audiences. Ultimately, it was nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar in 1951.
Tonight, the Catherwood Library and the Kheel Center, part of the Cornell ILR School, are sponsoring the first public showing of With These Hands in almost fifty years. The film will screen at 5:00 pm in 105 Ives Hall.
For more information about the film and its history, see the Kheel Center’s February 22 announcement, with a bibliography of archival materials in Kheel Center collections, written and compiled by Katie Dowgiewicz, ILGWU Project Archivist.