Three American Beauties
As a ‘melting pot’ of vastly different cultures, the USA has historically been hard put to develop a sense of national identity. Its symbols accordingly became all the more important. The hand-coloured film, Three American Beauties from 1906 presents in touchingly naive fashion first, the propagation of a red rose named ‘American Beauty’, then a woman in a yellow dress and finally, the American flag. Unusually, national identity is here defined by feminine points of reference. The film used to run as the finale of black/white cinema programmes (just as an image of the flag was later to round off the night’s TV).
Edwin S. Porter & Wallace McCutcheon, US 1906, stumm, 1 Min.