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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:
Lee Beggs ...
Ivan Orloff (uncredited)
Blanche Cornwall ...
Ivan's Wife (uncredited)


Ivan Orloff and his wife decide to emigrate to America with a group of several others. Ivan is used to treating his wife roughly, and on arrival in America, he forces her to carry their baggage, while he repeatedly prods her with his cane. A passer-by rebukes Ivan, and forces him to carry the load. But this is only the first of several lessons that Ivan will learn in his new country. Written by Snow Leopard

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Short | Comedy






Release Date:

30 October 1912 (USA)  »

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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

Could just as easily be a melodrama
30 July 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

The version of the film I saw only ran for ten minutes and didn't have any intertitles, but then it didn't need to because the story is so simple to follow. I don't really think I missed out on much, losing those six minutes, because the film is essentially the same incident - burly Russian peasant Ivan, newly arrived on America's shores, beating his poor wife - who we first meet hitched up to Ivan's cart next to the donkey - only to find himself set straight by outraged US citizens repeated three times. Ivan finally learns his lesson after six months hard labour and emerges from prison a transformed man, loving and appreciative of his wife.

This isn't a very funny film and, if it weren't for the fact that the accompanying soundtrack was of a humorous (but anachronistic) country and western style, the film could just as easily be viewed as a melodrama. It somehow seems all the more surprising, given its crude stereotyping, that the film was made by Solax, the company owned by French immigrant Alice Guy and her British husband Blache.

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