The Unluckiest Man in Movie History

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
June 13 2000 10:13 AM

The Unluckiest Man in Movie History

(Continued from Page 1)

He knew, just as well as he knows we are sitting here now, that the private presentation of this film on last Tuesday morning was for the purpose of seeing if there was anything objectionable in it. To fit it for such private presentation it was gone over by him with a fine tooth comb, no doubt; but immediately thereafter a sedulous effort was indulged in by him to insert those things which would tend to "excite" and to create a prejudice against Great Britain. This demands an inquiry into the ultimate motives and purposes of this man.

Advertisement

Also, Goldstein's lawyers were unable to argue that his First Amendment rights were being violated, because the Supreme Court had ruled in 1915 that movies lacked such protection. (That has since changed, of course.) The biggest factor, though, was probably anti-German hysteria. Goldstein's father (who'd founded the costume business) was a German immigrant. The film's investors apparently included several Germans. The same Los Angeles Times that had previously praised Goldstein's film subsequently hinted that Goldstein was involved in a plot to blow up U.S. munitions ships.

Goldstein was also Jewish, and anti-Semitism was still the norm among Southern California's (and Washington's) ruling class. After he got out of jail, Goldstein tried to re-establish himself as a filmmaker in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and England, which refused him a visa. Eventually he drifted to Germany. According to Slide, the last known communication from Goldstein was a 1935 letter to the Academy complaining that "because I can't pay $9 to have my American passport renewed I have been fined 75 marks--and as I consequently can't pay that either--two weeks in jail." Goldstein almost certainly died in the Holocaust.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.