Fits and starts
It may only have been his experience with the film Patria that kept Hearst a safe distance from another film project that resulted in a film producer being sent to prison by the United States government. In April 1917 Robert Goldstein, a Los Angeles costume rental company owner turned motion picture entrepreneur, completed his first film, called The Spirit of '76. Goldstein's Revolutionary War period production, written by him and directed by George Siegmann, was most notable for its lurid depictions of British atrocities. It was set in the eighteenth century, but it resonated with modern audiences whose government was now allied with Great Britain in a war against Germany. As The Spirit of '76 included many scenes filmed on elaborate and expensive sets, Goldstein spent much of the production schedule searching for financial backers. Those backers undoubtedly reflected his own interests: some were pro-German, some were antiBritish, and others were presumably most interested in making a quick buck in the movie business. On the eve of the film's Chicago release (set for early May), the struggling Goldstein hatched a plan to offer Hearst a certain percentage of the film's profits in exchange for his nearly priceless publicity. According to a report written by Military Intelligence officials who were watching Goldstein closely and already suspicious of Hearst's motives, a man connected with the Los Angeles Examiner “was of the opin
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Publication information: Book title: Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies. Contributors: Louis Pizzitola - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 162.
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