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Michel Le Royer
Corny? A Bit, But A Refreshing Dose Of Patriotism and Religion, Too
This is a Michael Curtiz-directed 20-minute color short about a group of immigrants to the new country (America) who formed a group called "Sons Of Liberty." They were persecuted people who are happy to rid themselves of that and don't care to be persecuted again. They fear they are being "threatened, once again by the British," as Claude Rains' character "Haym Salomon" puts it.
In September of 1776, General Howe invades New York City and gets a "warm reception" from the group as they burn the docks where is ship and other British boats and storefronts are located. Donald Crisp plays "Alexander McDougall," Salomon's ally and leader of the SOL.
Salomon is taken by the Brits and charged with "aiding and abetting the enemy of the Crown." However, Soloman uses his intelligence and education to gain the British trust and become a spy for George Washington. However, he gets discovered hiding someone and is thrown in jail, to be hanged. He comforts some of the other prisoners, such as reciting the 23rd Psalm to one, who turns out to be Nathan Hale. Soloman once again escapes, and the scene quickly shifts to Philadelphia in the year 1781.
Shortly, we see George Washington (Montagu Love) and hear of the problems he's having with disgruntled and underpaid militia.
The story of how the Americans overcame adversity is the rest of it. One doesn't often see or hear of the Jewish people being involved with the American Revolution, so Soloman's character gives the story a new twist.
Patriotism? The Bible? The Torah? Yup, it's all here in spades, something dated but refreshing to see in a secular-dominated film industry would never make something remotely close to this today.
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