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Native Land (1942)

 -  Drama | History  -  11 May 1942 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 179 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 11 critic

Paul Robeson narrates a mix of dramatizations and archival footage about the bill of rights being under attack during the 1930s by union busting corporations, their spies and contractors. ... See full summary »

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Title: Native Land (1942)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator / Vocalist (voice)
Fred Johnson ...
Fred Hill, farmer
Mary George ...
Hill's Wife
John Rennick ...
Hill's Son
Amelia Romano ...
Window Scrubber
Houseley Stevenson ...
White Sharecropper (as Housely Stevens)
Louis Grant ...
Black Sharecropper
James Hanney ...
Mack, union president
Howard Da Silva ...
Jim - informant (as Howard DaSylva)
Art Smith ...
Harry Carlyle
Bert Conway
Richard Bishop ...
Spy Executive
Charles Jordan
Vaughn King ...
Mary, Mack's wife
...
Frank Mason, grocer
Edit

Storyline

Paul Robeson narrates a mix of dramatizations and archival footage about the bill of rights being under attack during the 1930s by union busting corporations, their spies and contractors. In dramatizations, we see a farmer beaten for speaking up at a meeting, a union man murdered in a boarding house, two sharecroppers near Fort Smith Arkansas shot by men deputized by the local sheriff, a spy stealing the names of union members, and a dead Chicago union man eulogized. In archival footage we witness police and goons beating lawfully assembled union organizers, and we see men at work and union families at play. The narration celebrates patriotism and democracy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

union | spy | sharecropper | rights | goon | See All (46) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 May 1942 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Reeves Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Trivia

Feature film debut of Robert Strauss. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb 1930s agitprop detailing attacks on Unions & The Bill of Rights
4 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This barely released piece of Left-Wing cinematic Op-Ed journalism fully lives up to its storied rep. Half documentary/half vignette-sized realizations on Capitalist & vigilante abuse against the Bill of Rights (with an emphasis on Union busting), it's remarkably effective as agitprop and remarkably advanced as sheer film-making. After co-lensing THE PLOW THAT BROKE THE PLAINS/'36, Leo Hurwutz & Paul Strand spent five years putting this together which would have robbed the stories of their immediacy if Pearl Harbor & WWII hadn't already muted so many political controversies 'for the duration.' But modern viewers will appreciate the remarkably up-to-date documentary techniques and the recreations which anticipate movie styles later developed by Elia Kazan & Boris Kaufman in films like ON THE WATERFRONT/'54. Paul Robeson beautifully handles the exceptional narration, and watch for noted NYC blacklisted actors like Howard de Silva & Art Smith. But the real champ here is undoubtedly Paul Strand, a great photographer whose eye is unmistakable in three museum-worthy montage sequences showing Americans going about their daily lives and celebrating holidays on the street.


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