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The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920) DVD

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The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920)


Oscar Micheaux


Oscar Micheaux


Iris Hall, Walker Thompson, Lawrence Chenault
This early-black cinema silent was produced and directed by the era's most prolific African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Iris Hall played Evon Mason, "a beautiful Negress" travelling West to inspect her inheritance, a gold mine. She is thrown out of the area's only hotel but is cared for by a black prospector (Lawrence Chenault), whose life she later saves. Racism rarely reared its ugly head in Micheaux's films, at least not directly. It is therefore noteworthy that Symbol of the Unconquered contains a scene wherein the protagonist is barred from an all-white hotel, a situation all too familiar to the film's African-American target audience. Symbol of the Unconquered also featured Walker Thompson, E.G. Tatum, Jim Burris, Mattie Wilkes, and Leigh Whipper. The latter, the first black member of Actors Equity and the founder of the Negro Actors Guild, was a highly regarded Broadway actor whose best remembered screen role was that of Crooks in Lewis Milestone's Of Mice and Men (1939).

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