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Making an American Citizen (1912)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy | 30 October 1912 (USA)

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A recent immigrant learns several hard lessons about how husbands in America are expected to behave.




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Uncredited cast:
Ivan Orloff (uncredited)
Ivan's Wife (uncredited)


A husband and wife, belonging to the most ignorant and lowest class of peasantry, emigrate to the United States. On landing in New York, the husband loads a huge bundle on back of his wife, and carrying nothing but a rough walking-stick himself, starts to pass through the Battery, walking behind his wife. Soon a crowd gathers around them, some laughing, jeering, others indignant and threatening, until suddenly a huge American pushes his way through the crowd, stops the wife, takes the bundle off her back, lays his hand on the shoulder of the husband, bending him nearly double, picks up the bundle, places it on his back, and orders him to march on. This is the husband's first lesson in Americanism. Other lessons follow, in which the husband is taught, with an emphasis he cannot doubt, American ways and manners, until after he has been arrested and sent to jail for beating his wife, he becomes thoroughly convinced that old world methods will not do in this strange new world and decides ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy






Release Date:

30 October 1912 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Turner Classic Movies showed a version with a piano score on the soundtrack, and running 16 minutes. See more »


Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Too Heavy-Handed to Work Effectively
22 May 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Although there was probably something of a good intention behind the story, this movie is far too heavy-handed to make its point effectively, and is too insensitive to its characters to make it enjoyable to watch. It attempts to show us how a rather brutish immigrant must adjust himself to some of the principles of life in America, but the characters are stereotyped, the story sometimes lacks plausibility, and it really doesn't present anything or anyone in a positive light. A few of the technical aspects may have been done well for the time, but the story itself just has too many noticeable defects for the movie to be worthwhile.

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