The article itself is also really worth a read, if only for the awesome picture of Martha Stewart and Jim Cramer at the top.
Jeanine Basinger, chairwoman of the film studies department at Wesleyan University, said that studios had the best luck dealing with economic issues when they did so with subtlety. For instance, “It Happened One Night,” the 1934 Frank Capra movie about a spoiled heiress running away from her family, is a romantic comedy that hints at the social turmoil of the Great Depression: a wandering thief desperate for money; a passing train populated with hobos. “Subtlety has always been the key,” she said.
Wes professor Jeanine Basinger gets a quote in the NYtimes’ article In Hollywood, the Wall St. Plots Will Thicken, where she weighs in on the effect of economic hard times has on what reaches the silver screen: