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Born in Middleburg, Florida, in 1891, Richard Norman was a visionary filmmaker who found success in the 1910s producing local versions of his feature films in various towns across the Midwest. In the 1920s, Norman produced several successful "race films" featuring all-Black casts. (Image courtesy of Norman Studios.)

Host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar explore the mysterious missing work of the silent-era Norman Film Studio in Jacksonville Hour 1.

Roadshow's Most Wanted Case Number

RMW-007

Norman travelled across the Midwest and Florida to various towns, cast the local white citizens in starring roles, and filmed the same script over and over again.

Date of Incident

Late 20th Century

Location

United States

What's Missing

Reels of the films The Green Eyed Monster and The Wrecker

Case Status

Ongoing

Case Summary

Richard Norman made a number of silent feature films between 1915 and 1928. The Green Eyed Monster, a film with an all African-American cast, was released in 1919. The film involves a love triangle (two men fight for the love of a good woman), competition over a lucrative business contract and a great train crash. Film canisters containing the reels for The Green Eyed Monster have not been seen in several decades.

Norman produced a number of versions of his film The Wrecker (which he also called The Green Eyed Monster and The Man at the Throttle) from 1916 to 1919, which had essentially the same plot as the 1919 version of The Green Eyed Monster. Norman travelled across the Midwest and Florida to various towns, cast the local white citizens in starring roles, and filmed the same script over and over again. The townspeople were invited to view the movie at the local theater, which presumably enticed a large, paying audience to watch themselves, their friends and family up on the silver screen.

Resources

Norman Studios Website

Host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar explore the mysterious missing work of the silent-era Norman Film Studio, in Jacksonville Hour 1.

Related

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RMW-002: Missing Artifacts from the Wisconsin Historical Society
RMW-003: Colorado Unclaimed Property Division
RMW-004: Lost New Deal Artwork
RMW-005: Missing Norman Rockwell Coca-Cola Illustrations
RMW-006: Stolen Artworks from Hobcaw Barony
RMW-008: The Apollo Theater Archive

Author Antiques Roadshow