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Madeline Brandeis Films

Madeline Brandeis (1897-1937) worked as a successful filmmaker and producer for most of her short life, starting in 1918 when she directed and financed her first film, The Star Prince (1918), in Chicago.

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    Madeline Brandeis, dust jacket of novel, Adventure in Hollywood. Image courtesy Women Film Pioneers Project.

In the early 1920s Brandeis moved from Nebraska to Hollywood where she produced and financed Not One to Spare (1924), and shortly thereafter formed her own production company, Madeline Brandeis Productions.

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    Ad for Madeline Brandeis Productions from Film Daily Yearbook, 1925. Image courtesy the Media History Digital Library.

Brandeis was also a well-known author, and both her writing and filmmaking career focused on works created for and starring children. The publication of dozens of her titles for children and adolescents, including the Children of All Lands series (1933) and the novel Six Face the World (1938), reflected the explosion in the quantity and quality of books for children that began in the 1920s and 1930s. The books were based on a series of film shorts geared towards use in the elementary-school classroom and were illustrated with photographs from her travels or stills from the accompanying short films.

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    Tildesley, Ruth. "Giving the Children A Chance," Screenland (May-Oct 1929) 24-25. Image courtesy Media History Digital Library.

The Madeline Brandeis films at the HFA are a part of the Howard E. Burr collection that was given to the archive in 2009. All have been digitized and are available for viewing below.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Madeline Brandeis, 1918) HFA item #22025

The Wee Scotch Piper (Madeline Brandeis, ca. 1928) HFA item #29434

The Little Dutch Tulip Girl (Madeline Brandeis, 1928) HFA item #21170

The Little Swiss Woodcarver (Madeline Brandeis, 1929) HFA item #21029


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Howard E. Burr