Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies

By Louis Pizzitola | Go to book overview

10
Fits and starts
1917–1919

A MOTHER AND SON'S WILL

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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Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Film and Culture - A Series of Columbia University Press ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Behind the Scenes 1880S–1890S 1
  • 2 - The Artist Journalist 1895–1898 17
  • 3 - Film News 1898–1906 40
  • 4 - Midium for a New Cntury 1900–1907 73
  • 5 - It Pays Ot Advertise 94
  • 6 - When Men Betray 1915–1918 111
  • 7 - Perils of Passion 1915–1918 126
  • 8 - Trader 1914–1918 135
  • 9 - The Perils of Propaganda 1917–1918 148
  • 10 - Fits and Starts 1917–1919 162
  • 11 - Over Production 1919–1922 179
  • 12 - Fire and Smoke 1922–1925 207
  • 13 - Industry 1925–1929 230
  • 14 - Above the Law 1929–1934 260
  • 15 - Remote Control 1934–1940 326
  • 16 - Hollywood Isolationist 1940–1947 370
  • 17 - No Trespassing 1947–1951 419
  • Notes 443
  • Index 501
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