|Top Hat & Tales: Harold Ross and the Making of The New Yorker
A film by Adam Van Doren
47 minutes, documentary, color, 2001
Top Hat & Tales chronicles the early years of The New Yorker, from its fledging beginnings under its legendary creator and editor Harold Ross, to its rise as an indispensable American institution. Interviews with celebrated writers and cartoonists such as John Updike, David Remnick, Roger Angell, Lee Lorenz, and Roz Chast will inform how The New Yorker's signature style and content was shaped by its early contributors, including E.B. White, James Thurber, Charles Addams, Janet Flanner, J. D. Salinger, and more. Film clips, home movies and images from the anthology of The New Yorker covers and cartoons illustrate this look at one of journalism's most revered publications. Commentary by Charles Schulz, Stuart Hample and Roy Blount, Jr. offer insight into The New Yorker's role in the nation's cultural history.
"The appeal of this charming film comes from the way it reflects the glamorous era into which The New Yorker was born. Rich with film clips of the 20's and 30's - jazz bands, speakeasies, skyscrapers on the rise - it evokes the Manhattan that Astaire and Rogers so often glided through." - The New York Times
"The New Yorker is an American icon and success story that reaches far beyond its origins as a metropolitan weekly, and this is an illuminating and evocative program about a man who was visionary." - Video Librarian
"In a welcome paean to the venerable magazine and its creator, this fascinating film profiles the rather paradoxical Harold Ross... Insightful commentary and the well-delivered narration of actor Stanley Tucci nicely capture the alchemy of elements - engaging fiction, satirical cartoons, challenging articles - that continue to mark the literate periodical."