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Micheaux, Oscar (1884–1951)

homesteader film harlem including

MICHEAUX, OSCAR (1884–1951). Filmmaker, author. The most prolific independent filmmaker of his time, Micheaux was born in Metropolis, Illinois , and left home to work as a Pullman porter at age 17. He became a homesteader in Gregory County, South Dakota, in 1904, and wrote and self published The Conquest: Story of a Negro Pioneer in 1917, a novel based loosely on his experience. His other novels, Forged Note: Romance of the Darker Races , and The Homesteader , soon followed. Micheaux entered filmmaking after the Lincoln Motion Picture Company expressed an interest in turning The Homesteader novel into a film, but refused to let him direct. He organized the Oscar Micheaux Corporation and produced over 30 films between 1919 and 1948. An effective self-promoter, he would personally take the film prints around the theater circuit and talk the owners into investing a portion of the money made from the screening into his next film. Due to the added expense of talking pictures and the effects of the Great Depression, Micheaux was forced to file bankruptcy in 1928. In 1931, he partnered with Leo Brecher and Frank Schiffman, two white Harlem theater owners and began to produce a series of "soundies," including The Exile , 1931, and Veiled Aristocrats , 1932. He wrote four more novels between 1941 and 1943, including Wind from Nowhere and Masquerade . His final film, The Betrayal , was released in 1948.

Filmography: The Homesteader , 1919; 8th Regiment in Chicago , 1919; Within Our Gates , 1920; The Brute , 1920; The Symbol of the Unconquered , 1920; The Gunsaulus Mystery , 1921; The Dungeon , 1922; The Virgin of Seminole , 1922; Deceit , 1923; Birthright , 1924; A Son of Satan , 1924; The House Behind the Cedars , 1925; The Devil’a Desciple , 1925; Body and Soul , 1925; The Conjure Woman , 1926; The Spider’s Web , 1926; The Millionaire , 1927; Thirty Years Later , 1928; The Broken Violin , 1928; The Wages of Sin , 1929; When Men Betray , 1929; A Daughter of the Congo , 1930; Easy Street , 1930; The Exile , 1931; The Darktown Revue , 1931; Veiled Aristocrats , 1932; Ten Minutes to Live , 1932; The Girl from Chicago , 1932; Harlem after Midnight , 1934; Murder in Harlem , 1935; Temptation , 1936; Underworld , 1937; God’s Step Children , 1938; Birthright , 1938; Swing! 1938; Lying Lips , 1939; The Notorious Elinor Lee , 1940; The Betrayal , 1948.

Michell, John [next] [back] Michaux, Solomon Lightfoot(1884–1968) - Evangelist, Early Years, Business Opportunities and Marriage, Chronology, Religious Experience, Receives the Call to Preach

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