In this 16mm black and white feature film, a young African-American man is persuaded by a gambler to move to Chicago after graduating from a Southern university. Once there, he gets involved in the criminal underworld of Chicago, falls for a dame, and is framed for murder.
This 16mm black and white feature film (a, b) was written and directed by renowed filmmaker Osacar Micheaux. This film is one example of "alternate versions", a common theme and plot structure in Oscar Micheaux's films. Underworld played at the Harlem Opera House in New York 30 Sep-3 Oct 1937
Consists of: 16mm Film (a)(b).
2012.79.1.33.1a, 2012.79.1.33.1b: 16mm black and white film.
After Paul Bronson graduates from a black college in the South, he accepts the invitation of Chicago gambler LeRoy Giles to vacation in Chicago. LeRoy, who has been having a secret affair for three years with singer Dinah Jackson, the wife of Sam Brown, owner of the Red Lily nightclub, has brought Paul to Chicago to fleece him, but Paul attracts Dinah's attention and they become involved during the next month. Paul wants to marry Dinah, but she refuses, saying she only wants their affair to continue as it is. After Paul refuses money offered by Dinah, he meets Evelyn Martin, who recognizes him from college and who is trying to run a beauty parlor. Evelyn and Paul have lunch together and are seen by LeRoy, whom Dinah has supported financially and who is upset about her affair with Paul. LeRoy tells Dinah about Evelyn, and she threatens to ruin Paul. After Paul tells Dinah that he has decided to go home, she arranges for LeRoy to drug and rob him. LeRoy doubles the dose and almost kills Paul. After Paul overhears LeRoy and Dinah discussing his money, he gets it back from LeRoy and, still groggy from the drug, goes to the Red Lily. Meanwhile, Sam's detectives tell him about Dinah's affair with LeRoy. When Sam catches them together, he orders her bank accounts closed and charge accounts canceled. LeRoy shoots Sam and puts the gun by his body. After Paul comes in dazed and picks up the gun, Dinah accuses him of killing Sam. She pays LeRoy to leave town and is able to keep Paul in town and away from Evelyn because of his confusion about the murder. However, Paul, now the manager of the Red Lily, meets Evelyn again, and after he tells Dinah he is through with her, she reports him to the police. After Dinah, on drugs and intoxicated, has a mental breakdown, her car is hit by a train and she is killed. Her affidavit seems certain to convict Paul when Ching Li, a Chinese man who worked and lived at the Red Lily, confesses to police that he witnessed the murder. Paul is freed and leaves the city with Evelyn.
Source: American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films. 2016.
This 16mm black and white feature film, "The Exile", was Oscar Micheaux's first "talkie" (a feature film with a synchronized audio/dialogue track). The film was based on his novel "The Conquest, The Story of a Negro Pioneer" (1913).
Consists of: 16mm Film (a), 16mm Film (b), 16mm Film (c), Original Film Reel (d)
Edith Duval, a former maid, occupies a Southside Chicago mansion after it is abandoned by its wealthy meat packer owner. She is part of a wild crowd that likes to gamble, dance and have a good time. One night, when she throws a huge party for her friends, Jean Baptiste, a sincere young black man, draws her away from the crowd and confesses his love for her. Edith is delighted and tells Jean her plans to turn the house into a gambling club. Outraged by the suggestion, Jean declares his desire to take her away to a farm in South Dakota to earn an honest living. Edith, however, scornfully sends him away. Five years later, Jean has become such a successful farmer that he needs a hand with the chores and asks his new neighbors for help. Jean and the head of the family agree that the son will work for him. Meanwhile, Agnes, the daughter, is very attracted to Jean and, although he returns her love, he breaks off the romance because she is white and he is afraid that she will face a difficult life if they marry. Brokenhearted, Jean returns to Chicago. There, he visits Edith's nightclub, and determined to put Agnes behind him, he proposes to Edith again. This time she happily accepts. Unfortunately, an old lover of Edith shoots her in a jealous rage and Jean is accused of her murder. Upon seeing his name in the paper, Agnes decides to go to his aid. Her father agrees, and before she goes, he tells her that her mother was of Ethiopian descent, so it is all right for her to marry Jean. Just as she arrives in Chicago, she meets Jean, who has been completely cleared of the crime. The two set off for a happy married life in South Dakota.
A stock certificate for 16 shares from the Birth of a Race Photoplay Corporation. The certificate is off-white paper with rust, gray, and black designs and text. At the top center of the certificate there is a drawing of a torch. To the left of the drawing a box reads: [Number / 8113] and a box on the right reads: [Shares / 2]. Text below the boxes and drawings reads: [Birth of a Race Photoplay Corporation / Incorporated under the Laws of the State of Delaware / Capital Stock $1,000,000.00]. The certificate is made out to Arthur C. Young, by hand in blue ink. Additional text conveys information about the stock shares. The certificate is signed by the secretary and president of the corporation in the bottom center of the stock. To the left of the signatures is a foil seal. Below the signatures, text inside the decorative scroll work reads: [Shares $10.00 Each]. The back of the document is broken up into three sections, indicating that the document would have been presented as a tri-fold. The section to the left has rust colored pre-printed text with blank spaces to be filled in by hand to fill out if the stock were transferred. The center section has rust and black decorations and text indicating the amount of shares, the type of stock, the corporation, the recipient, and the date. The section to the right is blank.