The Forgotten Village

The Forgotten Village is a 1941 American documentary film—some sources call it an ethnofiction film—directed by Herbert Kline and Alexander Hammid. The film was written by John Steinbeck, narrated by Burgess Meredith, and with music by Hanns Eisler. The film was released by the film distribution partnership of Arthur Mayer & Joseph Burstyn.

The Forgotten Village
Lost Village poster small.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHerbert Kline
Alexander Hammid
Screenplay byJohn Steinbeck
Story byJohn Steinbeck
Produced byAlexander Hammid
Herbert Kline
Narrated byBurgess Meredith
CinematographyAlexander Hammid
Edited byHerbert Kline
Music byHanns Eisler
Distributed byArthur Mayer & Joseph Burstyn
Release dates
  • 9 September 1941 (1941-09-09) (New York City)
  • 18 November 1941 (1941-11-18) (U.S.)
Running time
67 minutes
CountryUnited States

The New York State Board of Regents, acting as the state's board of censors, banned the film in New York due to the film's portrayal of childbirth and showing a baby at its mother's breast.[1]

The film depicts the conflicts between traditional life in a Mexican village, and outsiders who want to introduce modernization.



The Hays Office refused to approve the film. The distributors decided to release the film without the Hays Office's Seal of Approval. The New York State Board of Regents banned the film because of the inclusion of a lengthy childbirth scene. But the film’s distributor protested to the State Board of Regents who lifted the ban and allowed the uncut film to be shown in New York.[2]

Restoration and re-releaseEdit

A restored version of the film was released in 2011. The film was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, funded by the Packard Humanities Institute.[3]

The new print was made “from the original 35mm nitrate picture and soundtrack negatives from the Stanford Theatre Foundation Collection and a 35mm nitrate fine grain master positive from MOMA.”[3]

The restoration premiered at the UCLA Festival of Preservation on March 14, 2011[3] and was screened at other North American cities in 2011 including Vancouver.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Forgotten Village at IMDb
  2. ^ Kirby, David A. (September 2017). "Regulating cinematic stories about reproduction: pregnancy, childbirth, abortion and movie censorship in the US, 1930–1958". The British Journal for the History of Science. 50 (3): 451–472. doi:10.1017/S0007087417000814. ISSN 0007-0874. PMID 28923130.
  3. ^ a b c Jeffrey Bickel. "UCLA Film & Television Archive: The Forgotten Village (1941)". Retrieved 2013-06-21.
  4. ^ "Recent Restorations: Treasures From The UCLA Festival Of Preservation » The Forgotten Village". Retrieved 2013-06-21.

External linksEdit