Paulette Goddard in the Tramp's (Charlie Chaplin) dream of a middle-class life in Modern Times.
Credit Warner Brothers/The Kobal Collection/McCarty, Floyd
In Giant, James Dean plays Jett Rink, a poor ranch hand who strikes oil and becomes one of the richest men in Texas. Elizabeth Taylor plays Leslie Benedict, part of the wealthy ranching family that Rink feuds with.
Credit The Kobal Collection/RAI Cinemafiction
Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) arrives at Ellis Island with his family in Golden Door.
Tinseltown didn't invent the American dream, but it sure put it out there for the world to see — a dream lit by the perpetual sunshine of Southern California, steeped in the values of the immigrant filmmakers who moved there in the early 1900s and got enormously rich.
It was their own outsider experience these Italian, Irish, German and often Jewish moviemakers were putting on screen, each optimistic, escapist fantasy a virtual American dream checklist:
Hard work carries the day in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech in 2011. During his first two years in office, Obama used big Democratic majorities in Congress to muscle through major legislation, but since the 2010 midterm elections, he's increasingly been stymied by a wall of GOP opposition.
Credit Pete Souza / White House
President Obama meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House in 2010.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House
President Obama meets with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss the debt limit and deficit reduction in July 2011.
From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. That includes struggling with their respective legislatures. Earlier, NPR's David Welna explored Romney's time as governor of Massachusetts. In this installment of "Parallel Lives," a look at Obama and Congress.
Former pitcher Roger Clemens, center, and his attorneys Rusty Hardin, right, and Michael Attanasio arrive on the courthouse steps after Clemens was found not guilty on all charges in his perjury trial at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
A federal jury acquitted pitching ace Roger Clemens of all charges on Monday. The jury found Clemens not guilty of lying to Congress and obstructing a congressional investigation into performance-enhancing drugs.
Say the word Tijuana, and many people automatically think of a city riddled with drug violence. But native son Javier Plascencia is hoping to change all that by cooking up high-quality cuisine that focuses on the region's diverse ingredients.