Robert Goldstein and the "Spirit of '76" (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series) Hardcover – 1 Jun 1993
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From the Back Cover
Robert Goldstein and The Spirit of '76 documents an extraordinary episode in film history, when the producer of a patriotic drama on the American Revolution was jailed for treason. Robert Goldstein was the owner of a well-known costume supply house in Los Angeles. Impressed by the success of The Birth of a Nation, for which he had provided the costumes, Goldstein produced his own epic film drama, The Spirit of '76, completed in 1917 and screened in Los Angeles shortly after America's entry into World War I. The film was denounced as anti-British and incited mutiny and refusal of duty by American military personnel. Arrested under the Espionage Act, Goldstein became the first and only American jailed for the crime of producing a patriotic film. The book includes an introductory essay on the film's history, reprints contemporary documentation on the film and its producer's arrest and trial, and, most importantly, for the first time, publishes Goldstein's side of the story. Included in its entirety is 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. The reader is confronted with the tragic tale of a man with high ideals who is debased by the actions of his government and sinks into mental instability.
About 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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