by Patricia Erens
Cut, no. 7, 1975, pp. 19-22
[Editor’s note: This is the first of two essays by Erens on “Minorities in U.S. Film.” Part Two appears in Jump Cut, no. 8.]
Sometime during the 60s “the melting pot” boiled over. Blacks informed the world that “black is beautiful” and sobered many liberals by refusing to support the notion of one United States. Subsequently, analysts began reassess the melting pot theory, noting the failure of some groups to assimilate into the greater mass. At the same time, other minority groups awoke to the erosion of their once vital ethnic life which accompanied their assimilation. Poles, Jews, Italians once again began to accent the features which distinguished them as individual groups within the community. Suddenly words like “assimilation” and “melting pot” were replaced by “acculturation” and “pluralism.”
Naturally these new attitudes were reflected in U.S. movies. Films began to focus on the diversity of the U.S. experience. THE GODFATHER, PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT, and CLAUDINE emphasized how ethnic life differed from group to group. Many films aimed at complex portrayals, both positive and negative, in an effort to define cultural differences on their own terms. In an effort to follow fashion, many films simply supplied new stereotypes to replace older ones.
Because of the flavor of ethnicity in recent Hollywood cinema, the period provides a rich source for research. The question naturally arises as to whether the new images are more truthful or not, and if not, why not? Before suggesting possible approaches to this problem, it seems worthwhile to look briefly at some general trends.
In the last fifteen years, the fortunes of various groups have shifted around a bit. Indians are now the good guys; white cowboys the villains (CHEYENNE AUTUMN, SOLDIER BLUE, LITTLE BIG MAN). Blacks are men of action, not servants. And as superheroes, several turn the tables as Whitey now gets his (SHAFT, HIT, SLAUGHTER). Black women are mean mammas, not maids (FOXY BROWN, CLEOPATRA JONES). Germans no longer appear as rapist Huns (although many are still portrayed as sadistic or psychotic as in TWILIGHT PEOPLE and THE ODESSA FILE), nor Japanese as beady-eyed. But Italians are still gangsters (THE VALACHI PAPERS, THE GODFATHER, CAPONE) and Jewish males still have “Jewish mothers” (MINNIE AND MOSCOWITZ, WHERE'S POPPA, PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT).
In the past some Hollywood directors, like Elia Kazan and producers like Stanley Kramer and Darryl F. Zanuck, attempted to dramatize social issues pertaining to race and prejudice. However, films like HOME OF THE BRAVE, PINKY, GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT, and JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG constitute a fraction of the movies released each year. The vast majority of films continue to utilize stereotypes.
In 1949 Siegfried Kracauer confronted just such a problem in an article entitled “National Types as Hollywood Presents Them.” Composed close upon the heels of a devastating global war and during a period that still held out hope for John Grierson’s notions of universal brotherhood and international understanding through film, Kracauer proposed an “analysis of the conception which the people of one nation entertain of their own and other nations.” Following a paradigmatic presentation of British and Russian characters in U.S. movies, Kracauer closed with a plea for greater objectivity—portraits rather than projections.
Few film critics today would endorse Grierson’s concept of a moral cinema or Kracauer’s belief in film as a vehicle for national understanding. Yet analysts continue to study and comment on the effects of film as a major component of the mass media. It seems to me, whether one assumes that film changes opinions or merely reinforces preexisting attitudes, that there are two approaches for dealing with the presentation of minority groups in film. Films can be viewed as a means of collecting objective data about minority images, specifically who does what to whom, how and when and the ways these images change according to political exigencies. In this case, interest revolves around why . The purpose of such an analysis is to gain insight into the continued needs and motivations of film creators and film viewers.
Kracauer was quite correct in stating that images of national types derive both from objective information gained through fact and from subjective biases perceived from environmental influences. The first approach relies on the objective determination of stereotypical tendencies which exist in the portrayal of each group and the relationship between these tendencies and the political realities of U.S. society.
It hardly needs to be reiterated on the pages of JUMP CUT that all films are politically based, either explicitly or implicitly. A film need not be a serious drama to posit a political bias (e.g., Charles Eckert’s article “Shirley Temple and the House of Rockefeller,” No. 2, July-Aug., 1974). Entertainment films from Disney to Kung Fu are fraught with political ideology for anyone caring to decode the film. Thus Disney and Co. was one of the first to go to war, lending expertise to the “Why We Fight” series and creating cartoons with anti-Nazi themes. All films propagandize for some cause. The majority of Hollywood films (in fact, the national cinema of any country) invariably reflects the dominant political and social ideas of the ruling class—the group that holds the reins of power.
With this in mind it would be fruitful to examine the following films from a Marxist point of view. There is little doubt that certain groups have suffered more than others from misrepresentation on the U.S. screen. An in-depth analysis of each minority is necessary to determine how individual screen images are affected by the shifting of groups within the socioeconomic structure and the changing of political priorities on the federal level.
The second approach to studying ethnic groups in film deals with the interpretation of subjective prejudices inherent in national images from a psychological point of view. Its aim is to determine how United States reveals itself in portrayals of “the others.” To accomplish this, it is necessary to confront the nature of cinema and the film-going experience. Despite Kracauer and Bazin’s insistence on photographic realism (later the “illusion of realism”) as the ontological essence of cinema, no one can deny the magic which occurs when familiar images from our ordinary environment flash upon the screen in a darkened room. The magical images reflect fantasies—distortions—but truths of another sort. And as Kracauer has pointed out, these are not the personal fantasies of film producers and directors which are subsequently foisted upon a passive U.S. public. “The film industry is forced by its profit interest to divine the nature of actually existing mass trends and to adjust its products to them.” Hollywood cannot shove films down the throats of unwilling audiences, no matter how many millions of dollars they spend on publicity campaigns (example, THE GREAT GATSBY). This is not to deny Hollywood’s influence or responsibility, but rather to establish the interrelation between film production and film consumption.
The film-going experience is a shared experience—one in which the fantasies of both creator and viewer merge. As such, popular film—Hollywood film—can reveal a great deal about the U.S. public—its attitudes, its desires, its fears. The study of ethnic minorities in the movies thus tells us as much about the dominant society as about the portrayed groups. Like dream analysis, the more distorted an image, the greater the need for interpretation. Such a psychoanalytic approach needs to be applied to film, along the lines of Wolfenstein and Leites’ fine work on the melodramas of the 40s in Movies: Psychological Study .
A psychological approach raises questions with regard to universal myths and figures in film narratives, especially genre films. Because genre films depend on formulas, types (persons possessing distinct features which mark them as members of an identifiable group) play an important role in the work, often performing specific and predetermined functions. Controversy begins when types evolve, into stereotypes (characters which conform to simplified and often repeated patterns of depiction). Films would be poor indeed without policemen, bartenders, or hookers, all familiar types on the U.S. screen. However, defamation begins when all policemen are portrayed as ignorant rednecks, all bartenders as gregarians, and all hookers as doormats with hearts of gold. Likewise, objections are raised when the majority of screen Jews are brainy or money mad, blacks are hip, and Italians violent. For despite the fact that such portrayals provide relative truths or emphasize sympathetic qualities, the presentation of such limited characterizations, frozen into convention, remains detrimental to individual groups and socially demeaning.
However, the persistence of types and stereotypes in film, with and without the enforcement of censorship codes, indicates that the need for such depictions exist deep with peoples need for storytelling. Like other forms of psychic phenomena, manifestations disappear only to reappear in another guise until the basic impulse is altered. (Thus archetypal villains persist although they are represented by different minority groups at different times.) Before any significant changes can occur, it is necessary to understand what recurring patterns and character distortions actually signify. In some cases, history as well as psychology need be applied.
Images of group oppression and national prejudice have been rampant throughout U.S. film history. With the implementation of the Motion Picture Production Code in the early 30s, gross excesses were eliminated. The Code prohibited the use of such words as chink, dago, frog, greaser, hunkie, kike, nigger, spic, wop, and yid. The Code also specified, “The history, institutions, prominent people and citizenry of all nations shall be represented fairly.” However, such vague pronouncements allowed for wide variations, and national character was murdered monthly in millions of subtle ways. Although many minority groups raised objections and organized lobby groups to combat such negative portrayals, these efforts have not always been successful.
As Americans, few relish censorship restrictions which grate against the long cherished notions of freedom of speech. If change is to occur it will have to come through public awareness, backed by dollars at the box-office. Only when audiences demonstrate an unwillingness to buy demeaning stereotypes will film producers be willing to innovate changes.
Intelligent analysis of the depiction of minority groups on the screen can serve as a valuable educational tool for stimulating sensitivity. To date, only the black experience has been fully documented. As yet no voices speak for the Latinos, the Germans, the Jews—no published books document their history and image on the U.S. screen.
Much work lies ahead. As classes in film, mass communication, and ethnic studies appear in schools and colleges, it seem important that students confront stereotypical images as well as complex portrayals in order to comprehend recurring distortions and latent implications in screen characterizations.
With this in mind the following filmography (which will appear in two parts) lists the major U.S. films dealing with ethnic minorities during the past fifteen years. No effort was made to distinguish between groups living within United States and foreigners in other countries, as biases and distortions apply to both film portrayals. The listings are as follows: Greeks, American Indians, Irish, Italians, Jews, Latinos (including Mexicans), Orientals (including Japanese), Polish, Scandanavians, and Russians. I have not chosen to list films about blacks, since there are several comprehensive studies on the subject (see bibliography).
Each film is accompanied by brief summary indicating the dominant narrative and the major ethnic role. A few films contain several important ethnic roles and have been included twice under different headings. Wherever significant, I have included the names of actors and actresses.
The majority of the films are available for rental in 16 mm, and distributors are indicated. Several films are not yet in 16 mm distribution or have been withdrawn. The latter works were included as they occasionally appear on television.
Films were chosen among all the popular genres—westerns, gangster films, detective stories, war stories, horror films—as well as dramas and comedies. Almost all of the films are commercial features made in Hollywood; a smattering are co-productions filmed abroad. I have included some independent productions, mostly semi-documentaries. Otherwise, short works and documentaries have been excluded, as well as films made for television.
From a quick glance down the list it is apparent that many categories are dominated by one genre. Thus most Indians and Mexicans appear in westerns, most Italians in gangster films and comedies, and most Japanese and Germans in WW2 war films.
Obviously not all films with ethnic characters could be included. Minor characters appear in hundreds of films, and choices had to be made. But by and large, I have aimed to be as inclusive as possible. Thus, from GIDGET GOES TO ROME to THE GODFATHER and from DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE to THE LAST HURRAH, the filmography represents a good cross-section of how the United States has portrayed its ethnic minorities and foreigners in the last decade and a half.
1. BOOKS AND ARTICLES
American Film Institute, American Film Institute Catalogue of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States 1921-1930 (R.R. Bowker, New York), 1971. Complete credits and plot summaries for films of this period. Check index volume under separate ethnic headings.
Bogle, Donald. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks (The Viking Press, New York), 1973. A history of black stereotypes and black performers from UNCLE TOM'S CABIN to SHAFT.
Dooley, Roger B. “The Irish on the Screen,” Films in Review, 8:5-6, May-June, 1957. A two-part article which covers Irish characters in U.S. film from the early days through the 1950s.
The Film Index: Index: A Bibliography (The Museum of Modern Art and the H.W. Wilson Company, New York), 1941. Lists features and documentaries made in the United States and elsewhere, Has sections on Indian films, Jewish films, historical films, and adaptations. Includes review citations.
Friar, Ralph E. and Natasha A. The Only Good Indian ... The Hollywood Gospel (Drama Book Specialists, New York), 1972. A history of the American Indians and how this has been represented in literature and film. Book contains long lists of films indexed according to special topics.
Kracauer, Siegfried. “National Types as Hollywood Represents Them,” Mass Culture: The Popular Arts in America, ed. Bernard Rosenberg and David Manning White (The Free Press of Glencoe), 1957. Deals with Depiction of the British and Russians in U.S. films.
Manchel, Frank. “Stereotyping in Film,” Film Study: A Resource Guide (Associated University Press, Inc.. Cranbury, N.J.), 1973. A chapter devoted to content analysis, social distortions, the presentation of minority groups in film, and the effects of stereotyping on the audience. Includes list of most film articles on the subject.
Mapp, Edward. Blacks in American Films: Today and Yesterday (The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J.), 1972. Concentrates on blacks in postwar films.
Maynard, Richard A.. The Black Man on Film: Racial Stereotyping (Hayden Book Company, Rochelle Park, N. J.), 1974. A collection of essays on the image of blacks in films from pre-WWI to present. Also includes in essay on Indians and Jews.
Morella, Joe, Edward Z. Epstein. and John Griggs. The Films of World War II (The Citadel Press, Secaucus, N.J.). 1973. Deals with films about the “enemy—the Japanese and the Germans. Gives credits, brief summaries and reviews.
Murray, James. Find An Image: Black Films from Uncle Tom to Superfly (Bobbs-Merrill Indianapolis) 1973. The book deals with black images in terms of social stereotypes and elitist propaganda.
Oehling, Richard A.. “Germans in Hollywood Films: Changing Images 1914-1930,” Film and History, May, 1973. The article deals with the portrayal of Germans during the silent era.
Pines, Jim. Blacks in Films: A Survey of Racial Themes and Images in American Film (Studio Vista, London), 1974. Bibliography and chronological filmography.
Spears, Jack. “The Indian on the Screen,” Films in Review, 10:1, January, 1959. Deals with Indians in movies from 1903 onward and includes information about Indian actors.
Verrill. Addison. “Black Film Explosion.” Variety, January 9. 1974. Lists over 150 black films with distributors for previous four years.
Weinberg. David. “The ‘Socially Acceptable’ Immigrant Minority Group: The Image of the Jew in American Popular Films,” North Dakota Quarterly, Autumn, 1972, pp. 60-68. The article traces the portrayal of the Jew from immigrant to spokesman for the American ideal.
White, David Manning and Richard Averson. The Celluloid Weapon: Social Comment in the American Film (Beacon Press, Boston), 1972. The book deals with the history of all social issues in the cinema. including racial prejudice and anti-Semitism. The work is also good guide to portrayals of Germans and Japanese during the War.
THE BIG SHOW (James B. Clark, 1961). Melodrama about traveling German circus and despotic owner. MOD
THE BLUE ANGEL (Edward Dmytryk, 1959). Remake of famous Von Sternberg film, up-dated to Germany, 1956. with May Britt in Dietrich role. FI
CABARET (Bob Fosse, 1972). Screen version of kooky U.S. lass living in Berlin as Nazism gains political ascendency.
THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR (George Seaton, 1962). Story of American-born Swede (William Holden) who works as German counterspy for Americans during WWII. Filmed in West Berlin and Hamburg. FI
COUNTERPOINT (Ralph Nelson, 1968). Suspense drama of U.S. symphony of seventy men who are captured by a German Panzer division and music-loving Nazi (Maximilian Schell). DID, CLW, SWA, UNIV
FIVE-FINGER EXERCISE (Daniel Mann, 1962). Film about response of U.S. family to presence of German refugee (Maximilian Schell) who comes to tutor their 15-year-old daughter. FC, MOD
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE (Vincente Minnelli 1962). Reworking of 1921 classic about fight of young Argentineans against rise of Nazism in 1930’s Germany. FI
HELL'S BLOODY DEVILS (Al Adamson. 1971). Adventure story of efforts of former Nazi to further neo-Nazism in United States with help of Mafia.
I AIM AT THE STARS (J. Lee Thompson, 1960). Film biography of German scientist Werner von Braun as played by Curt Jurgens. BUD, PC
IN ENEMY COUNTRY (Harry Keller, 19GB). Spy story of pretty French damsel who marries German Baron to get info for French underground. GIN, CLW, UNIV
JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (Stanley Kramer, 1961). Re-creation of international war crimes trials following WWII which raises question of guilt and responsibility. UA
LISA (Philip Dunne, 1962). Story of Auschwitz survivor and ex-Nazi who promises to help her get to Palestine. FI
A MAN CALLED DAGGER (Richard Rush, 1968). Lively adventure film about U.S. investigation of meat-packer suspected of being former SS colonel. FI
MAN ON A STRING (Andre de Toth, 1960), Espionage film with partial setting in West Berlin. CIN, CLW, MOD. TRANS
THE McKENZIE BREAK (Lamont Johnson, 1970). Drama of attempted prison escape by members of a German U-boat crew. UA
ONE, TWO, THREE (Billy Wilder, 1961). Wild comedy of modern situation in divided Berlin. UA
RAID ON ROMMEL (Henry Hathaway, 1971). Another episode in efforts to defeat the “desert fox.” CIN, CLW, UNIV
SHIP OF FOOLS (Stanley Kramer. 1965). Mixed group of people on board ship headed for Bremen during 30s. Group includes several Germans. including a Nazi sympathizer (Jose Ferrer). BUD, CIN, CLW, MOD, SWA, TWY, UNIV
SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE (George Roy Hill. 1972). Adaptation of Vonnegut novel about Everyman Billy Pilgrim and his experiences as German prisoner of war, SWA, UNIV
36 HOURS (George Seaton, 1965). Suspense story of efforts of German intelligence to pry top-secrets from U.S. double-agent by an elaborate trick carried out in Germany. FI
TOBRUK (Arthur Miller, 1967). War film about German Jews who collaborate with British to defeat Rommel in Egypt. CIN, CLW, UNIV
TORN CURTAIN (Alfred Hitchcock. 1966). Thriller about international espionage set in East Germany. GIN, CLW, TWY, OF, NC, SWA
TOWN WITHOUT PITY (Gottfried Reinhardt. 1961). Drama of trial of four U.S. soldiers accused of raping a 16-year-old German girl in Neustadt. UA
THE TRAIN (John Frankenheimer, 1965). Thriller about efforts of Germans to remove art treasures from Paris in 1944 as the Allies advance while the French Resistance tries to intercept the cargo. UA
THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE (Eddie Romero, 1972). Story of mad former SS officer who wants to create a super-race by means of surgical transplants.
VERBOTEN! (Samuel Fuller. 1959). Film depicting marriage between U.S. GI and German girl and their struggle against unreconciled Hitler youths in postwar Germany. UF
THE YOUNG LIONS (Edward Dmytryk. 1958). Adaptation of Irwin Shaw novel with Marlon Branch in role of disillusioned Nazi lieutenant. FI
AMERICA, AMERICA (Elia Kazan. 1963). Drama of young man’s arduous efforts to reach the land of promise in United States. WB
ANDY (Richard C. Sarafian, 1965). Film about problems of Greek immigrant family with forty-year-old retarded son. UNIV
BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME (Jeff Young, 1971). Adaptation of novel of disenchanted Greek American and his life in the drug culture on and off campuses.
A DREAM OF KINGS (Daniel Mann, 1969). Story of father’s efforts to find money to take sick son back to native Greece. Anthony Quinn stars in Petrakis story set in Chicago’s Greektown. SWA
THE EXORCIST (Richard Freidkin, 1973). Modern day horror film of efforts of young Greek priest to exorcise devil from body of young girl.
THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (J. Lee Thompson, 1961), Thriller about group of Americans trapped on small island in the Aegean Sea during WWII. With Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas. AB, BUD, CLII, DIN, MOD, TRANS. WC, NAT. SWA
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER (Robert Ellis Miller, 1968). Screen version of story by Carson McCullers about deaf-mute and Greek retarded friend. WB
THE MAGUS (Guy Green, 1968). Complex drama of riddles on small Greek island which involves a young English school teacher and an older wealthy Greek (Anthony Quinn). FI
THE MOON-SPINNERS (James Nelson, 1964). Adventure melodrama about corrupt Greek (Eli Wallach), Filmed in Crete. DIN, NAT, SWA, TWY
THE ANIMALS (Ron Joy, 1972). Drama of unending revenge which begins with rape of white woman by white outlaw. Indian helps her even the score. AB
APACHE RIFLES (William H. Witney, 1964). Problems with vengeful Apaches and farmers in Arizona 1879 and how two men establish trust across racial boundaries. FI
THE APPALOOSA (Sidney J. Furie. 1966). Story of buffalo hunter who wins beautiful girl from Mexican bandit. CIN, UNIV. WC
BILLY JACK (T.C. Frank, 1971). Story of youth hero halfbreed who devotes life to establishing justice according to own code. WB
BUCK AND THE PREACHER (Sidney Poitier, 1972). Western focusing on plight of black Union soldier after Civil War, involving Indians’ fight with white men.
CANCEL MY RESERVATION (Paul Bogart, 1972). Comedy about murdered Indian girl, 110-year-old Indian mystic and stolen Indian property.
CHATO'S LAND (Michael Winner, 1972). Adventure story of pursuit and revenge as white men chase Apache halfbreed (Charles Bronson) who was provoked into killing a white sheriff. UA
CHEYENNE AUTUMN (John Ford. 1964). Sympathetic treatment of Indians’ long trek back to their homeland when U.S. government fails to meet promises. AB, BUD, CLW, SWA, TWY, NAT, WC
CHUKA (Gordon Douglas, 1967). Adventure story of conflict between Americans and Arapaho Indians. FI
THE COWBOYS (Mark Rydell. 1972). Western about older rancher (Wayne) which involves gradual transition of adolescent halfbreed,
CRY BLOOD, APACHE (Jack Starrett. 1971). Western Romance involving the search for gold with Indian maid’s helping while her brother seeks revenge.
DUEL AT DIABLO (Ralph Nelson, 1966). Western about life of white woman who had been Apache captive for more than a year. UA
EL CONDOR (John Guillermin, 1970). Adventure story of search for Maximilian’s hidden treasure by two adventurers and a group of renegade Apaches. SWA
THE GATLING GUN (Robert Gordon, 1971). Western about conflict between Union soldiers and Apaches over ownership of a Gatling gun.
HOMBRE (Martin Ritz, 1967). Story of white hero (Paul Newman) called Hombre who was raised by Apache Indians. FI
ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS (James B. Clark, 1964). Children’s film about Indian brother and sister’s efforts to survive alone on an island off the coast of California. DIN, CLW, UNIV
JEREMIAH JOHNSON (Sydney Pollack). Story of a mountain man who learns to live among and fight against the Flatheads and the Crow. Very accurate in the depiction of Indian customs. WB
JOHNNY TIGER (Paul Wenkos, 1966). Drama of white man’s flight to help backward Seminoles on Florida reservation and emergence of halfbreed to position of leadership. DIN, UNIV
JOURNEY THROUGH ROSEBUD (Tom Gries, 1972). Film about contemporary plight and embitterment of contemporary Sioux on South Dakota reservation. SWA
THE LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY (Martin Goldman, 1972). Story of former black slave and relationship with homesteader’s halfbreed wife. FI
LITTLE BIG MAN (Arthur Penn, 1970). A comic epic about a 120-year-old survivor of Custer’s Last Stand who recounts his childhood among the Cheyenne. SWA
THE LONERS (Sutton Roley, 1972). Story of manhunt for young halfbreed (Dean Stockeell) who is falsely accused of trying to kill a white man. PRY
MACKENNA'S GOLD (J. Lee Thompson, 1969). Western about search for horde of gold over which brood vengeful Apache gods. AB, CLW, MOD, TWY, CIN, BUD, NAT, WC, SWA
MADRON (Jerry Hopper. 1971). Western about fight of gunslinger and French Canadian nun against the Apaches. WC
A MAN CALLED HORSE (Elliot Silverstein, 1970). Story of Englishman captured by Sioux Indians during 19th century and his eventual initiation into the tribe. SWA
THE McMASTERS (Alf Kielin, 1970). A post-Civil War western about a group of Indians who save a black man from angry white settlers. NC
NEVADA SMITH (Henry Hathaway. 1966). Western about halfbreed (Steve McQueen) who gets aid from various Indian women in his search for a new life. FI
OKLAHOMA CRUDE (Sidney Kramer, 1973). Story of young girl and Indian helper who run a wildcat oil rig in Oklahoma in 1913.
THE OUTSIDER (Delbert Mann. 1962). Story of shy Pima Indian (Tony Curtis) and his experiences in Marine Corps, as a national hero, and his battle with alcohol. UNIV, WC
RID CONCHOS (Gordon Douglas, 1964). Western concerning stolen rifles. Apache Indians, and an Indian-hating hero. FI
THE SAVAGE SEVEN (Richard Rush, 1968). Violent film about life of American Indians in small California town where natives are victimized by both greedy businessmen and motorcycle gang alike. OF
SOLDIER BLUE (Ralph Nelson. 1970). Bloody film about savage Indian attack on cavalry and later revenge by white men. CLW, OF
THE STALKING MOON (Robert Mulligan. 1969). Story of U.S. woman who was Apache captive for ten years and struggle to escape with halfbreed son from Arizona Territory in 1880s.
STAY AWAY JOE (Peter Tewksbury, 1968). Comedy about brawling halfbreed (Elvis Presley) and trouble in Arizona. FI
STRANGE VENGEANCE (Jack Starrett, 1972). Murder story involving teenage halfbreed and her attachment to young white boy,
ULZANA'S RAID (Robert Aldrich, 1972). Harsh treatment of struggle between Apaches on the war path and the 115 Cavalry who tries to protect the homesteaders. DIN, CLW, UNIV
WHEN LEGENDS DIE (Stuart Millar, 1972). Story of 12-year-old Ute sent to a Colorado reservation to learn new ways. Eventually he rejects this life and returns to the wilderness. FI
THE WILD COUNTRY (Robert Totten, 1971). Western about family settlers, mountain men. and a Shoshone Indian companion.
THE CARDINAL (Otto Preminger, 1963). Story of arrogant young Catholic Bostonian in early 20th century who reforms and rises to ranks of cardinal. AB, MOD, CIN, CLW, FC, SWA, TWY
DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (Robert Stevenson, 1959). Disney production about Irish storyteller at turn of the century.
EAGLE IN A CAGE (Fielder Cook. 1972). Historical drama about Napoleon on St. Helena and Irish doctor who cares for and admires the little corporal. SWA
FINIAN'S RAINBOW (Francis Ford Coppolla, 1968). Screen version of Irish musical about life in United States and leprechaun’s gold. AB, BUD, CLW, MOD, NAT, SWA, MR, TWY, UF, WC
GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (Stanley Kramer). Problems of interracial marriage between black man (Sidney Poitier) and daughter of Irish Catholic family. AB, BUD, CLW, COL, FC, TWY
THE LAST HURRAH (John Ford, 1958). Story of old-time Irish-Amerlcan politician (Spencer Tracy) who loses re-election for mayor but gains insights instead. AB, CIN, CON, FC, TRANS, BUD, MOD, CLW, TWY, WC
A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Sidney Lumet, 1962). Film version of Eugene O'Neill play about his Irish-Catholic upbringing. AB, CIN, MOO, WC, FC, OF
LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS (Cy Howard, 1970). Comedy romance about the American Irish and the American Italians. FI
THE LUCK OF GINGER COFFEY (Irvin Kershner, 1964). Story of Irish emigrant who moves to Canada with his wife to find a better life. WR
THE MIRACLE WORKER (Arthur Penn, 1962). Story of Annie Sullivan and her work with the young Helen Keller. UA
THE MOLLY MAGUIRES (Martin Ritt. 1970). Story of secret organization of Irish American miners who sought to better their pay in second half of 19th century. BE
NEVER STEAL ANYTHING SMALL (Charles Lederer, 1959). Story of union boss who aims for bigger things. Given flavor by James Cagney in star role. UNIV
QUACKSER FORTUNE HAS A COUSIN IN THE BRONX (Waris Hussein, 1970). Romance about Irish immigrant (Gene Wilder) (who sells manure) and U.S. woman.
SAY ONE FOR ME (Frank Tashlin, 1959). Wry story of Irish priest (Bing Crosby) who saves souls in New York’s theatrical district. AB, WC, DIN, MOD, NAT, SWA, OF
STUDS LONIGAN (Irving Lerner, 1960). Adaptation of James Farrell’s novel of young boy growing up on Chicago’s South Side during 1920s. UA
WRATH OF GOD (Ralph Nelson, 1972). Adventure story of South American revolution in late 20s which involves stranded Irishman. FI
YOUNG CASSIDY (Jack Cardiff, 1965). A fictionalized biography of Sean O'Casey and his years as an Irish rebel and young playwright. FI
ACROSS 110th STREET (Barry Shear, 1972). Cops and robbers film with New York police going after Mafia boss and paranoid son-in-law. UA
AL CAPONE (Richard Wilson, 1959). Bio-flick of famous gangster with Rod Steiger in key role, NOR
AN AMERICAN DREAM (Robert Gist, 1966). Story of TV commentator and run-in with Cosa Nostra.
THE BROTHERHOOD (Martin Ritt, 1969). Story of Italian American family and their involvement with the New York Mafia. Starring Kirk Douglas and Irene Papas. FI
BUONA SERA, MRS. CAMPBELL (Melvin Frank, 1969). Comedy about complications which result when three U.S. soldiers all claim paternity of Italian child. Filmed in Italy. UA
THE CATERED AFFAIR (Richard Brooks and Gore Vidal, 1956). Story of Italian mother’s efforts to give her daughter the wedding she never had. FI
EVERY LITTLE CROOK AND NANNY (Cy Howard, 1972). Comedy about Mafia boss (Victor Mature) and smart nanny who raises his hellion son. FI
FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT (Anatole Litvak, 1963). Drama of sour marriage between Italian-born wife (Sophia Loren) and U.S. husband. UA
THE GAMBLERS (Ron Winston. 1969). Story of an U.S. gambler who intends to swindle a rich Italian in Dubrovnik. WB
THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT (James Goldstone, 1971). Gangster comedy about Mafiosa in Brooklyn’s Little Italy. FI
GIDGET GOES TO ROME (Paul Wendkos, 1963). Teen crush between Gidget and older Italian. AS, GIN, CLW, MOD, NAT, SWA, WC.
THE GODFATHER (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972). Saga of Mafia families in New York during 1940s. Much ethnic flavor. FI
HEAVY TRAFFIC (Ralph Bakshi. 1971). X-rated animated feature about Jewish-Italian cartoonist who comes into contact with Italian whores and underground figures.
A HOLE IN THE HEAD (Frank Capra, 1959). Comedy about Italian Americans living in Miami Beach, with Frank Sinatra as young man with big dreams. UA
A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME (Russell Rouse, 1964). Story about New York prostitution and involvement of Lucky Luciano (Cesar Romero). AB
HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE (Richard Quine, 1965). Comedy about efforts of once-happy bachelor to free himself of his wife. (He finds himself married to an Italian beauty the morning after a drunken binge.) UA
INSIDE THE MAFIA (Edward L. Cahn. 1959). Fictitious story which utilizes some real events to show what really goes on inside. UA
IT STARTED IN NAPLES (Melville Shavelson. 1960). Romance between a Philadelphia lawyer (Clark Gable) and a Neapolitan (Sophia Loren). Filmed on location. FI
JOHNNY COOL (William Asher, 1963). Story of Sicilian who comes to United States to carry out personal vendetta.
THE LAWYER (Sidney J. Furie, 1970). Courtroom drama of Italian lawyer. FI
LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (Guy Green. 1962). Story of young Italian (George Hamilton) who falls in love with beautiful retarded U.S. girl. Filmed in Rome and Florence. FI
LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER (Robert Mulligan. 1963). Comedy between free-soul, young U.S. man and Italian girl (Natalie wood) who discovers she’s pregnant. FI
LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS (Cy Howard, 1970). Comedy romance about the American Italians and American Irish. FI
LOVE STORY (Arthur Hiller, 1970). Tragic romance about Harvardite and young Italian co-ed from Radcliffe. FI
MADE FOR EACH OTHER (Robert B. Bean. 1971). Semi-autobiographical comedy about the courtship and marriage of Italian writer Joseph Bologna and Jewish writer wife Renee Taylor. FI
MAN FROM O.R.G.Y. (James A. Hill. 1970). Comedy which is spoof of dirty movies with ethnic flavor.
MEAN STREETS (Martin Scorsese, 1973). Story of sensitive young man growing up amidst the realities of New York’s Little Italy.
MERRY ANDREW (Michael Kidd, 1958). Typical Danny Kaye vehicle which portrays singing, dancing, and romance with Italian circus performer Pier Angeli. FI
PARTY GIRL (Nicholas Ray, 1958). Thirties gangster film with ultimate showdown between lawyer (Robert Taylor) and Italian boss (Lee J. Cobb). FI
RAW WIND IN EDEN (Richard Wilson, 195?). Drama and romance amidst background of remote Italian island. UNIV
THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE (Jose Quintero. 1961). Story of aging actress who loses self over handsome, young Italian (Warren Beatty). AB, NAT, TWY
THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE (Roger Corman, 1967). Re-enactment of famous murders with Jason Robarts in role of Al Capone. FI
THE SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG (Jack Smight, 1968). Comedy about five captured American Allied generals who live in comfort and captivity in Italian villa. CIN, CLW, OF, UNIV. SWA
SEVEN HILLS OF ROME (Roy Rowland, 1958), Romance about U.S. singer (Mario Lanza) who finds love in Rome. FT
SLAUGHTER (Jack Starrett, 1972). Adventure story of black hero’s revenge on Mafia boss and his henchmen.
STILETTO (Bernard Kowalski, 1969). Adventure film about Italian playboy who is paid assassin for New York Mafia. AB
THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES (Ken Annakin, 1965). Comedy about an international air race from London to Paris in 1910 which includes representatives from several countries including Italy. FI
TRICK BABY (Larry Yust. 1972). Black thriller with various underworld Italian characters. UNIV
THE VENETIAN AFFAIR (Jerry Thorpe, 1967). Adventure story filmed in Venice about aftermath of bombing of international Peace conference. FI
VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Sidney Lumet, 1962). Screen version of Arthur Miller play about Italian-American life on the Brooklyn waterfront and family problems. WR
WEDDINGS AND BABIES (Morris Engel, 1960). Independent production about tribulations of Italian-American photographer on New York’s lower East Side.
WOMAN TIMES SEVEN (Vittorio de Sica. 1967). Shirley MacLaine in seven roles of varying nationalities, including Italian. AEPC
[Filmography is continued in next issue. Go to Part Two.]
AB—MacMillan Audio Brandon. AEPC—Avco Embassy Pictures Corp.. BUD—Budget Films. CIN—Cine-Craft Co.. CLW—Clem Wiiliaes Films, Inc.. COL—Columbia Cinemateque. CON—Contemporary Films/McGraw-Hill. FC—The Film Center. FI—Films Incorporated. HUR—Hurlock Line World. IMP—Impact Films. IVY—Ivy Films. MOO—Modern Sound Pictures, Inc.. NAT—National Film Service. RBC—NBC Films. SWA—Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.. TRANS- Trans-World Films. Inc.. TWY—Twyman Films, Inc.. UA—United Artists 16. UF—United Films. UNIV—Universal 16. UPA—United Productions. WB—Warner Bros., Inc.. WC—Westcoast Films. WR—Walter Reade 16