In competition for the Best Documentary Award.
It’s been over 30 years since the last Horn & Hardart Automat closed, but anyone who dined at these waiter-free art deco palaces – where for a couple of nickels, items like mac and cheese or a strawberry rhubarb pie would pop out of a glass box – remembers them with powerful affection. Among the surprising celebrants with great stories to tell in this charming documentary are Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elliott Gould. More than a nostalgia trip, The Automat is an illuminating social history, tracing the changing face of America over its almost 100-year history from its start in Philadelphia in 1902 to the closing of the last Horn & Hardart in New York in 1991. Serving rich and poor, open to all, the automats were, for a time, an oasis of modernism and democracy. Lisa Hurwitz’s hugely entertaining documentary was heralded in Forbes as “the most culturally relevant film for post-pandemic America.”
|Producers:||Lisa Hurwitz, Russell Greene, Alec Shuldiner|
|Cinematographers:||Sandra Chandler, Philip Lucas|
|Editor:||Michael Levine, Russell Greene|
|Cast:||Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elliott Gould, Mel Brooks, Colin Powell, Carl Reiner, Howard Schultz|
|Running Time:||79 minutes|
|Primary Company:||A Slice of Pie Productions|