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The Battle Cry of Peace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Battle Cry of Peace
John Harrison (Charles Richman) and Virginia Vandergriff (Norma Talmadge) face enemy leader Emanon (L. Rogers Lytton) while Virginia's mother and sister fearfully view an enemy soldier in The Battle Cry of Peace.
Directed byWilfrid North
J. Stuart Blackton
Written byJ. Stuart Blackton (scenario)
Based onDefenseless America
by Hudson Maxim
Produced byJ. Stuart Blackton
CinematographyLeonard Smith
Arthur T. Quinn
Music byS. L. Rothapfel
S. M. Berg
Ivan Rudisill
Distributed byV-L-S-E, Incorporated
Release date
  • August 6, 1915 (1915-08-06) (New York City)[1]
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Advertisement in The Moving Picture World (1916)
Advertisement in The Moving Picture World (1916)

The Battle Cry of Peace is a 1915 American silent war film directed by Wilfrid North and J. Stuart Blackton, one of the founders of Vitagraph Company of America who also wrote the scenario. The film is based on the book Defenseless America, by Hudson Maxim, and was distributed by V-L-S-E, Incorporated. The film stars Charles Richman, L. Rogers Lytton, and James W. Morrison.[2]

Alternate titles for this film were A Call to Arms and The Battle Cry of War. In the UK, the film was called An American Home. A sequel followed in 1917, Womanhood, the Glory of the Nation.

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In a war-torn world, Enemy agents under the leadership of "Emanon" conspire with pacifists to keep the American defense appropriations down at a time when forces of the enemy are preparing to invade. The invasion comes, and New York, Washington, and other American cities are devastated and the enemies take over the country


Book version

In the same year, J. Stuart Blackton published the book version of The Battle Cry of Peace with pictures from the film. The book has nothing to do with Defenseless America by Hudson Maxim.


Upon its release, the film generated a controversy rivaling that of The Birth of a Nation because it was considered to be militaristic propaganda. Producer Stuart Blackton believed that the US should join the Allies involved in World War I overseas, and that was why he made the film. Former President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the film's staunchest supporters, and he persuaded Gen. Leonard Wood to lend Blackton an entire regiment of Marines to use as extras.[3]


The film was released by VLSE Incorporated [A Blue Ribbon Feature] and premiered in New York on August 6, 1915, at the Vitagraph Theater (formerly the Criterion Theater). The film is also known under the title A Call to Arms Against War or The Battle Cry of War. The copyright, requested by The Vitagraph Co. of America, was registered on November 10, 1915, under number LP6935.

In the UK, the film was released as An American Home. In 1917, a sequel was made to Womanhood, the Glory of the Nation which was directed by William P. S. Earle alongside James Stuart Blackton. In Italy, it was initially censored in August 1916, but managed to obtain clearance for distribution in February 1917; it was distributed by the Lombard Monopoly.

In 1917, when the United States entered the war, the film was reissued in a modified version under the title The Battle Cry of War.


The majority of the film is now considered lost.[4] The Cinemateket-Svenska Filminstitutet possesses one reel.[5] Fragments of footage of battle scenes survive and are housed at the George Eastman House.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Slide, Anthony (1976). The Big V: A History of the Vitagraph Company. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8108-0967-3.
  2. ^ Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association (1915). The Moving Picture World, Volume 25, Issues 4–6. Chalmers Publishing Company. p. 795.
  3. ^ Magill's Survey of Silent Films, Vol. l A-FLA p.175 edited by Frank N. Magill c.1982 ISBN 0-89356-240-8 (3 book set ISBN 0-89356-239-4) Retrieved December 11, 2014
  4. ^ "The Battle Cry of Peace". Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Greta de Groat (Electronic Media Cataloger at Stanford University Libraries). "The Feature films [sic] of Norma Talmadge".
  6. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Battle Cry of Peace at

External links

This page was last edited on 21 March 2023, at 19:41
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