War Comes to the Silver Screen With Theodore Roosevelt as the Leading Man

An interesting video on war films made during the Spanish-American War.  We sometimes forget just how rapid technological change was in the 19th century.  A young man who fought in the Mexican War, one of the first wars with widespread use of photography, could have still been alive as an old man watching the war films of the Spanish-American War.

One of the major beneficiaries of the cutting edge technology of motion pictures was Theodore Roosevelt. He had received massive newspaper publicity when he formed the Rough Riders and movie goers were hungry to see his exploits.  Here is a Thomas Edison film showing the Rough Riders in action at the battle of  El Caney, or so the movie goers thought.  The movie was actually filmed in New Jersey by the Wizard of Melo Park’s film company!

Roosevelt and his men certainly performed superbly in the real War, but the films showing “re-creations” of their exploits helped establish Roosevelt and his Rough Riders as both household words and national heroes.

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on War Comes to the Silver Screen With Theodore Roosevelt as the Leading Man  
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