AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Great Shadow
Director: Harley Knoles (Dir)
Release Date:   Mar 1920
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   [Frederick] Tyrone Power (Jim McDonald)  
    Donald Hall (Donald Alexander)  
    Dorothy Bernard (Elsie Alexander)  
    John Rutherford (Bob Sherwood)  
    Louis Stern (Klimoff)  
    E. Emerson (Greek leader)  
    E. Hornbostell (Frank Shea)  

Summary: Jim McDonald, the foreman of a shipbuilding plant and head of the labor union, strives to combat the anarchistic propaganda being put forth by Klimoff, the leader of a Bolshevik gang whose goal is to disrupt the country with strikes and anarchy. Despite McDonald's efforts, a strike is called, resulting in chaos. McDonald's child is knocked down by runaway horses abandoned by their striking driver, and dies. Mob scenes take place in America, as well as in Russia. Eventually, the unrest is quelled with an armistice called between Capital and Labor for a year, during which time wages are to be increased to reflect the cost of living, and leaders are to work out a common plan for their mutual advantage. The strikers now realize that they have been pawns of the Bolsheviks and call off the strike, agreeing to the plan. 

Production Company: Adanac Producing Co.  
Distribution Company: Republic Distributing Corp.  
Director: Harley Knoles (Dir)
Writer: Rudolph Berliner (Story)
Country: Canada and United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Republic Distributing Corp. 21/4/1920 dd/mm/yyyy LU15067

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Drama
Subjects (Major): Anarchists
  Bolshevists and Bolshevism
  Employer-employee relations
  Labor leaders
  Russian Americans
  Strikes and lockouts
  Trade unions
Subjects (Minor): Accidents
  Plant foremen

Note: Some of the subplots of the film cannot be summarized, as copyright information has deteriorated and reviews are inconclusive. Concerning the film's depiction of the Russian characters, Var commented, "No effort is spared to drive home the insidious methods of Russian aliens disseminating the gospel of Bolshevism among labor organizations in this country. The filthy, repulsive appearance of the Russian alien characters as depicted in the picture cause one to shrink and sudder." 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
MPN   6 Mar 20   p. 2337.
MPW   6 Mar 20   p. 1656.
Variety   21 May 20   p. 34.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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