Year of Release: 1919
Black & White
Studio: Micheaux Book and Film Company
Producer: Oscar Micheaux
Director: Oscar Micheaux; Jerry Mills
Charles D. Lucas (Jean Baptiste)
Evelyn Preer (Orlean)
Iris Hall (Agnes Stewart)
Vernon S. Duncan (McCarthy)
Inez Smith (Ethel)
Trevy Woods (Glavis/Ethel’s husband)
Synopsis: In South Dakota, Agnes Stewart, a Scottish girl takes refuge in an isolated house during a blizzard. Hearing cries outside, she rescues Jean Baptiste, a Black homesteader who was in danger of freezing to death. Baptiste falls in love with Agnes, who does not know that she is not White. Baptiste despairs of overcoming the social barriers that prevent their union He returns east and marries Orlean, the daughter of McCarthy, a vain and greedy minister. Baptiste is persecuted by McCarthy and by Ethel (McCarthy’s other daughter), who, like her father, possesses “all the evil a woman is capable of.” When Orlean goes insane and commits suicide, Baptiste returns to South Dakota, finds Agnes and discovers that she is really Black. The two are able to be together and find happiness at last.
Oscar Micheaux’s first film.
Some information in the plot synopsis comes from a 1927 interview with Evelyn Preer.
Micheaux’s 1948 film The Betrayal is sometimes described as a loose remake of The Homesteader.
Source(s): TCM; Wikipedia; Photo: By Micheaux Book & Film Company via Wikimedia Commons.