Let My People Live (1939)
Let My People Live
Directed by Edgar Ulmer.
Sponsor: The National Tuberculosis Association.
Production: Motion Picture Service Corporation.
Camera: William Miller.
Sound: Nelson Minnerly.
Dramatic Assistants: S.E. Walker, Edward Lawson.
Cast: Rex Ingram, Peggy Howard, Merritt Smith, Erostine Coles, Christine Johnson and Jackson Burnside.
Aimed at African Americans and shot at Tuskegee University, this film instructs viewers in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis by focusing on a pair of sympathetic siblings, George and Mary, whose lives are altered by the disease. Starring Rex Ingram as Dr. Gordon, the film suggests that organized religion is an important defensive location in this particular community, and warns of the dangers of the previous generation’s superstitions and its fear of medicine. The Health Department prominently featured the film at the 1939 World’s Fair.