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The Betrayal (1948)

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Cast

Credited cast:
William Byrd William Byrd ... Jack Stewart
Leroy Collins Leroy Collins ... Martin Eden
Verlie Cowan Verlie Cowan ... Linda
Frances De Young Frances De Young ... Mrs. Bowles
Vernon B. Duncan Vernon B. Duncan ... Duval
Edward Fraction Edward Fraction ... Nelson Boudreaux
Harris Gaines Harris Gaines ... Dr. Lee
Jessie Johnson Jessie Johnson ... Preble
Barbara Lee Barbara Lee ... Jessie
Yvonne Machen Yvonne Machen ... Terry
Arthur McCool Arthur McCool ... Joe Bowles
Vernetties Moore Vernetties Moore ... Eunice
Alice B. Russell Alice B. Russell ... Aunt Mary
Myra Stanton Myra Stanton ... Deborah
Lou Vernon Lou Vernon ... Ned Washington
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Storyline

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Taglines:

The Unforgettable story of Martin Eden, young Negro man of Conquest, who built an agricultural empire in the Dakota Wilderness - with the strangest love story ever told! See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 1948 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Micheaux Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film failed at the box-office, no one bothered to preserve it. Therefore, it is lost. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Based on contemporary reviews, and the script...
29 November 2016 | by mcornettSee all my reviews

I've read a number of articles about Micheaux and his films, and some stuff about this movie in particular, and it looks dire.

The released cut was just over 3 hours long, and by all accounts there was barely enough plot to cover something half that long. The acting received poor reviews (he had several amateur non-actors in the leads) and the script is absurdly verbose; a remark is made that Micheaux would use 100 words when 10 would do. There are lengthy speeches against interracial marriage (Micheaux seems to have had some racial-separatist views) and also took the stand that American blacks should abandon the cities and take to the frontiers to build new lives and communities. By all accounts, one of Micheaux's biggest failings was that he was a humorless and overly didactic storyteller, and even his best films became tedious and preachy. Apparently this was no exception. African-American audiences of the day found the film offensive. Micheaux's politics may have been outdated by the time the film came out; doubtless they would not go over well today.

Even though it's based on a novel, it's really a remake of his first film, "The Homesteader", telling an identical story with different names. By all reports, the technical aspects are crude, but that's almost to be expected as Micheaux's projects were chronically underfunded. He was a maverick in the "race movie' world and deserves to be remembered as a pioneer, but it's too bad that much of his work is seemingly so unimpressive. A similar issue is true of a pioneering female moviemaker, Dorothy Davenport, whose films are spoiled by a melodramatic, preachy tone as she sought to solve society's ills with well-intentioned finger-wagged.


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