Robert Goldstein And The Spirit Of '76

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Impressed by the success of The Birth of a Nation, Robert Goldstein, owner of a well-known Los Angeles costume supply house, produced his own epic film drama, The Spirit of '76 and screened it in Los Angeles shortly after America's entry into World War I. The film was denounced as anti-British and treasonous. Arrested under the Espionage Act, Goldstein became the first and only American jailed for the crime of producing a patriotic film. Film historian Tony Slide includes an introductory essay, reprints ...

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Overview

Impressed by the success of The Birth of a Nation, Robert Goldstein, owner of a well-known Los Angeles costume supply house, produced his own epic film drama, The Spirit of '76 and screened it in Los Angeles shortly after America's entry into World War I. The film was denounced as anti-British and treasonous. Arrested under the Espionage Act, Goldstein became the first and only American jailed for the crime of producing a patriotic film. Film historian Tony Slide includes an introductory essay, reprints contemporary documentation, and publishes a 1927 manuscript by Goldstein, in which he fully documents the background to the film, its making, his arrest and trial, and his later suffering.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An essay and collection of primary documents on the making of the 1917 film The Spirit of ^76 and the arrest and trial of its producer, Goldstein, for treason. The US government had no use for the glorification of rebellion as it plunged into World War I. Publishes for the first time Goldstein's own 1927 account of the film, the trial, the prison term, and his later suffering. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810826748
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Series: Scarecrow Filmmakers Series , #34
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Slide has published over forty pioneering works on film history, among them the first volumes dealing exclusively with early American cinema, the Vitagraph Company, the Fine Arts Company, filmmaking in Ireland, film preservation, and the non-theatrical film. He edits the Scarecrow Filmmakers Series and has produced a series of documentary films on silent screen personalities. In 1990 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Bowling Green University; Lilian Gish called him "our preeminent historian of the silent film."

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
The Spirit of á76: Cast and Credits 1
U.S. Vs. Spirit of á76
The True Story of the Making of a Motion Picture and Its Maker, Written in Narrative Form, Comprising the Facts 5
Contemporary Documents and Commentary
Costly War Picture Banned; Courts Appealed Too [Sic] 203
Exhibitor's Trade Review Commentary 204
Motography Commentary 205
United States v. Motion Picture Film "The Spirit of '76" District Court S.D. California, November 30, 1917, 252 Federal Reporter 946 207
"Spirit of '76" Confiscated by Government 212
"Spirit of '76" Film Called Part of Plot: Picture Incites To Mutiny is Allegation - Producer May Be Given Penitentiary Sentence 214
Goldstein Is Found Guilty: Producer of "The Spirit of '76" Is Convicted by Jury on Two Counts - May Ask New Trial 216
Goldstein Is Sentenced to Ten Years: Producer of "The Spirit of '76" Is Sent to the Federal Penitentiary and Fined $5,000 219
Goldstein Begins Penitentiary Sentence 222
Goldstein, A Keystone Tragedy 223
Goldstein v. United States, Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, May 26, 1920, Federal Reporter, 908 225
"The Spirit of '76": Crude Concoction of Fact and Fiction, Written and Directed by Robert Goldstein, Is Released by All-American Film Company 230
Photoplay Commentary 233
Index 235
About the Author 239
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