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Norman Film Manufacturing Company

films black cast local

NORMAN FILM MANUFACTURING COMPANY. Richard Edward Norman founded this company in 1912 with his brother Kenneth Bruce Norman. They were two white producers from Middle burg, Florida, who made and distributed several “all black cast” films during the silent years of cinema. Norman began by traveling through the Midwest, filming local events and writing scenarios as he went along. He cast local townsfolk in the character roles and would sell tickets to screenings in churches, schools, or at the local theater, offering a 60 40% split of the receipts. His movies were usually love stories using the same situation over and over while adapting the basic concept to each town’s unique locations. In 1916, Norman returned to Jacksonville, Florida, to make feature length films for national distribution. His first was the all white cast, The Green-Eyed Monster , 1916, a romantic melodrama that he remade in 1919 with an all-black cast. Norman’s other notable African American films include The Crimson Skull , 1921; The Flying Ace , 1926; and Black Gold , 1926. In later years, Norman distributed sound versions of the Oscar Micheaux films The Millionaire , 1927; The Exile , 1931; and The Girl from Chicago , 1932.

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