The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound

This short documentary about Fred Harvey’s chain of train-stop restaurants (which also inspired the MGM musical The Harvey Girls) focuses on the job opportunities they offered single women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It feels like something you’d watch at a company picnic, amateurish as filmmaking and all too flattering toward its subject (director Katrina Parks has nothing but nice things to say about Harvey and the women he hired,). Still, this illustrates an interesting aspect of the American west, showing how the region was domesticated by a combination of femininity and corporate muscle.