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HISTORY

The Homesteader was Oscar Micheaux's first film. Micheaux's company was located in Chicago, IL. Contemporary sources disagree on whether Micheaux or Jerry Mills directed this film. One contemporary source cites black film pioneer William Foster as doing "detailed service" on the production. Micheaux's company is alternately called the Micheaux Book and Film Co. and the Micheaux Film Company in advertisements. Modern sources call Evelyn Preer's character "Orleans" instead of "Orlean." Some information in the plot synopsis comes from a 1927 interview with Preer.
       In 1987, Micheaux became the first black director to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as noted in the 19 Feb 1987 Los Angeles Sentinel.
       Micheaux's 1948 film The Betrayal (see entry) is sometimes described as a loose remake of The Homesteader. See also Body and Soul (1925) and The Wages of Sin (1928). ...

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The Homesteader was Oscar Micheaux's first film. Micheaux's company was located in Chicago, IL. Contemporary sources disagree on whether Micheaux or Jerry Mills directed this film. One contemporary source cites black film pioneer William Foster as doing "detailed service" on the production. Micheaux's company is alternately called the Micheaux Book and Film Co. and the Micheaux Film Company in advertisements. Modern sources call Evelyn Preer's character "Orleans" instead of "Orlean." Some information in the plot synopsis comes from a 1927 interview with Preer.
       In 1987, Micheaux became the first black director to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as noted in the 19 Feb 1987 Los Angeles Sentinel.
       Micheaux's 1948 film The Betrayal (see entry) is sometimes described as a loose remake of The Homesteader. See also Body and Soul (1925) and The Wages of Sin (1928).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Afro-American [Baltimore, MD]
12 Sep 1919
p. 8.
Chicago Defender
4 May 1918
p. 8.
Chicago Defender
22 Feb 1919
p. 14.
Chicago Defender
1 Mar 1919
p. 8.
Chicago Defender
1 Mar 1919
p. 11.
Chicago Defender
1 Mar 1919
p. 13.
Chicago Defender
5 Apr 1919
p. 9.
Chicago Defender
31 Jan 1920
p. 8.
Chicago Defender
20 Mar 1920
p. 2.
Chicago Defender
10 Apr 1920
p. 9.
Dallas Express [Dallas, TX]
1 Mar 1919
p. 1.
Great Bend Tribune [Great Bend, KS]
6 Jan 1919
p. 4.
Kansas City Sun [Kansas City, MO]
15 May 1920
p. 4.
Los Angeles Sentinel
19 Feb 1987
Section A, p. 1.
New York Age
25 Dec 1920
p. 6.
Philadelphia Tribune
6 Sep 1919
p. 4.
St. Joseph Gazette [St. Joseph, MO]
16 Mar 1919
p. 33.
Topeka Daily Capital [Topeka, KS]
25 Mar 1919
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITER
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Homesteader by Oscar Micheaux (Sioux City, 1917).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1919
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: week of 24 Feb 1919; Kansas City, MO, opening: 2 Mar 1919
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Agnes Stewart, a Scottish girl who has come to South Dakota with her father, takes refuge in an isolated house during a blizzard. Hearing cries outside, she rescues Jean Baptiste, a black man who was in danger of freezing to death. Baptiste, who owns the house, falls in love with Agnes but despairs of overcoming the social barriers that prevent their union. He returns East to his people and marries Orlean, the daughter of preacher N. Justine McCarthy, a vain man who soon takes offense at Baptiste's refusal to praise him. Enlisting the aid of Orlean's sister, Ethel, and brother-in-law, Glavis, McCarthy begins a campaign of persecution against Baptiste that Orlean is too weak-willed to battle. Finally Orlean goes insane, kills her father, and commits suicide. Baptiste returns to South Dakota and meets Agnes, who has discovered that she is really black. The two find happiness together at ...

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Agnes Stewart, a Scottish girl who has come to South Dakota with her father, takes refuge in an isolated house during a blizzard. Hearing cries outside, she rescues Jean Baptiste, a black man who was in danger of freezing to death. Baptiste, who owns the house, falls in love with Agnes but despairs of overcoming the social barriers that prevent their union. He returns East to his people and marries Orlean, the daughter of preacher N. Justine McCarthy, a vain man who soon takes offense at Baptiste's refusal to praise him. Enlisting the aid of Orlean's sister, Ethel, and brother-in-law, Glavis, McCarthy begins a campaign of persecution against Baptiste that Orlean is too weak-willed to battle. Finally Orlean goes insane, kills her father, and commits suicide. Baptiste returns to South Dakota and meets Agnes, who has discovered that she is really black. The two find happiness together at last.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.