Pare Lorentz's The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1937) are landmark American documentary films. Aesthetically, they break new ground in seamlessly marrying pictorial imagery, symphonic music, and poetic free verse, all realized with supreme artistry. Ideologically, they indelibly encapsulate the strivings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 'New Deal'. Virgial Thomson's cores for both films are among the most famous ever composed for the movies. Aaron Copland praised the music for The Plow fit its 'frankness and openness of feeling', calling it 'fresher, more simple, and more personal' than the Hollywood norm. He called the music for The River 'a lesson in how to treat to treat Americana'.