In Distribution – The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound is a new documentary film that tells the story of how over 100,000 railroad station waitresses opened up the doors of the American West and the workplace to women and changed history. It premiered at the National Archives – Kansas City, was a finalist for a James Beard Award, has been broadcast on over a dozen PBS stations and is currently touring museums across the country.

In 1946, MGM turned the Harvey Girls  into legend when they released the motion picture The Harvey Girls starring Judy Garland. Until now, this fictional Hollywood movie has been the only film to immortalize the Harvey Girls. Opportunity Bound examines this important part of America’s history in much greater depth, and tells the story of the Harvey Girls using the voices of those closest to them, including rare interviews with the few remaining Harvey Girls and author and expert on Fred Harvey, Stephen Fried.

In addition, the film explores the life of Fred Harvey and his company which left its mark by not only providing work opportunities for women, but by being among the first companies to promote cultural diversity in the workplace by hiring Hispanic and Native American women to be waitresses along with their Anglo peers. The Harvey Girls, whose workforce continued to flourish until the 1960s, were true pioneers and set a new standard of excellence for women in the workplace, paving the way for generations of independent young women to come.  This is their story!

The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound

  • Date:
    2012