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Historically, we can look at the play in the context of its original film release date, 1957. The United States was in a politically transitional time. The Civil Rights Movement was well underway with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision passed in 1954 and the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956. Many of the themes of racial and social inequity being played out in the drama were being played out on the national scene. The play held plenty of racially and socio-economical charge to stir both interest and controversy.