Land of Liberty (1939)

Run Time - 137 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Originally designed for exhibition at the 1939 World's Fair, Land of Liberty is a 137-minute compendium of filmclips from past American historical epics. The project was sponsored by the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America, Inc. and supervised by Cecil B. DeMille, who also edited the film with the assistance of his crack Paramount production staff. The narration was written by old DeMille hands Jeannie MacPherson and Jesse Lasky Jr. and spoken by a talented team of uncredited announcers (one of whom sounded suspiciously like old C. B. himself). Clips from such Hollywood productions as America (1924), Abraham Lincoln (1930), Alexander Hamilton (1931), Show Boat (1936), Man of Conquest (1939) and DeMille's own The Plainsman (1936), The Buccaneer (1938) and Union Pacific (1939) are woven together into a chronological continuity, tracing American history from the Revolutionary War to the "present," which is largely represented by newsreel footage of President Roosevelt, the TVA project, and other current personalities and events. In later years, Land of Liberty was redistributed on the classroom circuit, with new footage added from historical dramas of the 1940s and 1950s.