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HISTORY

This was Oscar Micheaux's first film. Micheaux's company was located in Chicago. Contemporary sources disagree on whether Micheaux or Jerry Mills was the director. One contemporary source cites black film pioneer William Foster as doing "detailed service" on the production. Micheaux's production company is alternately called the Micheaux Book and Film Co. and the Micheaux Film Co. in ads. Modern sources call Evelyn Preer's character Orleans instead of Orlean. Some information in the plot synopsis comes from a 1927 interview with Preer. Micheaux's 1948 film The Betrayal is sometimes described as a loose remake of The Homesteader (see ... More Less

This was Oscar Micheaux's first film. Micheaux's company was located in Chicago. Contemporary sources disagree on whether Micheaux or Jerry Mills was the director. One contemporary source cites black film pioneer William Foster as doing "detailed service" on the production. Micheaux's production company is alternately called the Micheaux Book and Film Co. and the Micheaux Film Co. in ads. Modern sources call Evelyn Preer's character Orleans instead of Orlean. Some information in the plot synopsis comes from a 1927 interview with Preer. Micheaux's 1948 film The Betrayal is sometimes described as a loose remake of The Homesteader (see below). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ChiDef
22 Feb 19
p. 14.
New York Age
25 Dec 20
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1919
Premiere Information:
Mar--Apr 1919
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
7-8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
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 ... +


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. +

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.