The American (1927 film)

The American, a.k.a. The Flag Maker, is a lost 1927 American silent Western film directed by J. Stuart Blackton and starring Bessie Love and Charles Ray. It was based on the short story "The Flag Maker" by Jewel Spencer, and was produced by George K. Spoor through his company Natural Vision Pictures.

The American
Scene from The American, also known as The Flag Maker.jpg
Directed byJ. Stuart Blackton
Produced byGeorge K. Spoor
Written byMarian Constance Blackton (scenario)
Based on"The Flag Maker" (short story)
by Jewel Spencer[1]
  • Conrad Luperti
  • Marvin W. Spoor
  • William S. Adams[2]
Natural Vision Pictures
Running time
6 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The film, made in the experimental widescreen process Natural Vision, developed by Spoor and P. John Berggren, was never released theatrically.[3]


A rich Turk Seref is released from an American prison after 20 years, with plans to exact revenge on the fiancee who had betrayed him.[4]


Bessie Love as Jane Wilton


Conrad Luperti, J. Marvin Spoor, and William S. Adams with the Natural Vision camera

The Natural Vision process required the action to be filmed on two cameras: one for production and one for the dailies. The production camera was set back unusually far from the action,[6] and subsequently filmed only wide shots and no close-ups.[6][7]

Canceled releaseEdit

The film was slated for a March 1927 premiere at New York's Roxy Theatre, which was to have been equipped to show films in Natural Vision.[8][9]

However, producer Spoor refused to release the film because it was "poorly made".[10][3] Director Blackton protested, claiming that he had not been allowed to complete the picture, and had not been fully paid for his work.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Waller, Tom (March 12, 1927). "Hollywood". Moving Picture World. p. 99.
  2. ^ Love, Bessie (1977). From Hollywood with Love: An Autobiography of Bessie Love. London: Elm Tree Books. p. 153. OCLC 734075937.
  3. ^ a b Dewey 2016, p. 218
  4. ^ Dewey 2016, p. 216
  5. ^ Tildesley, Ruth M. (February 1927). "A Dream Comes True". The Motion Picture Director of Hollywood. pp. 8, 10, 16.
  6. ^ a b Dewey 2016, p. 217
  7. ^ "'The American' The First Natural Vision Motion Picture". Hollywood Topics. 1926. p. 14.
  8. ^ "Changed to 'The Flag Maker'". Exhibitors Daily Review. February 5, 1927. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Announce New Features for Roxy Theatre". Motion Picture News. February 18, 1927. p. 564.
  10. ^ a b "Blackton Hits Spoor Claims". Hollywood Vagabond. Vol. 2 no. 2. October 6, 1927. p. 1.
Works cited

External linksEdit