The Betrayal

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The Betrayal
Directed byOscar Micheaux
Written byOscar Micheaux
Produced byOscar Micheaux
StarringLeroy Collins
Verlie Cowan
Myra Stanton
CinematographyN. Spoor
Distributed byAstor Pictures
Release date
  • June 24, 1948 (1948-06-24)
Running time
183 min.
CountryUnited States

The Betrayal (1948) is a race movie written, produced, and directed by Oscar Micheaux. It is based on his book The Wind From Nowhere (1943) and his movie The Homesteader (1919). The movie tells of the tangled relationships among African American farm people in South Dakota. It stars Leroy Collins in his one and only movie role. The movie was poorly received among both white and black critics. No print is known to exist. It is considered a "lost" movie. It was the first race movie to open in a white theater.[1]

Story[change | change source]

Martin Eden is a successful African American farmer in South Dakota. He is in love with Deborah Stewart. He believes that she is white and that she is not interested in him. He is unaware that Deborah loves him.

Martin goes to Chicago to look for a wife. He meets Linda. They fall in love and marry, and then return to Martin’s farm. They have a baby. Their happiness ends when Linda’s jealous father tells her that Martin is homicidal. She runs away from the farm with the baby and returns to Chicago. Martin finds her in the city. Linda shoots him during a fight.

In South Dakota, Deborah learns she is African American. She goes to Chicago and meets Linda. Linda agrees to divorce Martin so he can marry Deborah. Linda gives her baby to Deborah to raise. Martin and Deborah return to South Dakota. Linda kills her father for his role in ruining her marriage.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Kansas Historical Society: Oscar Micheaux
  2. Gevinson, Alan (1997). Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960. University of California Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-520-20964-0.

Other websites[change | change source]