Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Man Without a Country

I've mentioned on a couple of occasions that Warner Bros. made a number of two-reel shorts in Technicolor in the second half of the 1930s with themes from US history. Along the same lines is The Man Without a Country, airing tomorrow morning at 9:08 AM, right after The Guns of Navarone.

John Litel stars as Lt. Philip Nolan, the man who gets stationed on the US frontier and, believing it to be a backwater, takes up with Aaron Burr, who after having killed Alexander Hamilton in the duel, was part of a conspiracy that may or may not have plotted against the US. Lt. Nolan gets tried for desertion, and says he doesn't want to hear about he United States any more. So the authorities humor him by putting him aboard navy ships for the rest of his life, where the crews are forbidden from talking about the US to him.

What's more interesting is that John Litel shows up in several of these WB shorts. I believe TCM showed Give Me Liberty a week or two ago, in which Litel plays Patrick Henry. There's also 1938's The Declaration of Independence, in which Litel makes an appearance as Thomas Jefferson. Sadly, I haven't been able to find any of these on Youtube.

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