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» » The Spirit of the Flag (1913)

Short summary

Dr. Reid, a young American physician in the Philippines, risks his life in the cause of patriotism, and eventually wins the love of the girl of his choice. With the idea of developing in the natives in his community the spirit of manly citizenship, Dr. Reid requests the War Department to furnish him with a number of discarded Winchesters with which to drill the natives. His request is granted and he succeeds in getting together quite an enthusiastic company. Dr, Reid is not the only instructor in patriotism. Young Pauline Bush, a teacher in the Islands, has for some time been instructing her pupils in all that the American flag means to her. When she finds that Dr, Reid is also patriotically inclined, a bond of friendship is cemented between the two Americans. Bonita, one of Pauline's pupils, has for some time been deeply but hopelessly in love with the young doctor, and is very despondent when she sees the growing attraction between the young Americans. Her father wishes to join Dr. ...

A Print of the Film exist.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Fordregelv
    Alas, wrong flag! (from a Filipino point of view) Considering the grim realities of the brutal US colonisation of the Philippines, to which the events in this film are supposed to be a prelude,this is a very unpleasant piece of patriotic flummery. The US treachery that robbed the Philippines of its independence after the defeat and dignified withdrawal of the Spanish is of course not mentioned. Manila would become its centre for operations in the Pacific and the China Seas. Nothing could better illustrate the fact that the US had joined the club of the imperialist powers than the ease with which it here adopts their hypocritical and patronising rhetoric. The caricature of the Spanish was typical of US propaganda that filled the US yellow press at the time and prepared the way for the later demonisation of the Kaiser once the US condescended to join the war against him.

    Note the neat double-edged compliment in the contemporary review that points out that the film was quite obviously shot anywhere near the Philippines. In fact it is not much of an improvement over the "re-enactments" that Sigmund Lubin used to turn out in his backyard in Chicago at the tie of the war itself.

    Power to your elbow, manly citizen Duterte!
  • comment
    • Author: Lli
    This is a lively two-reel story of the Philippines. Though taken in California the setting carries a strong atmosphere of the islands. Pauline Bush and Jessalyn Van Trump make their first appearance with the Bison company, the former as the American school teacher and the latter as Bonita, a native girl. The hero is a tall young fellow of prepossessing appearance, who looks the part of a soldier of fortune acceptably. Historically this offering is probably at fault, as there were no American school teachers in the Philippines at the time there was fighting between the Spanish and American troops. The photography in this is good and the action stirring. - The Moving Picture World, May 31, 1913
  • Cast overview:
    Wallace Reid Wallace Reid - Dr. Reid
    Pauline Bush Pauline Bush - American Schoolteacher
    Jessalyn Van Trump Jessalyn Van Trump - Bonita
    Arthur Rosson Arthur Rosson - Bonita's Father
    David Kirkland David Kirkland - Spanish Renegade
    Marshall Neilan Marshall Neilan - Doctor
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