Cohen Saves the Flag

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Cohen Saves the Flag
Cohen Saves the Flag 1913 moviescene.jpg
Scene from the film
The Jewish Soldier
Directed by Mack Sennett
Produced by Mack Sennett
Starring Ford Sterling
Mabel Normand
Henry Lehrman
Distributed by Mutual Film Corporation
Release date
April 1913
Running time
One reel
Country United States
Language Silent

Cohen Saves the Flag is a 1913 American comedy silent film directed and produced by Mack Sennett, and starring Ford Sterling and Mabel Normand.


Cohen (Ford Sterling) and his rival Goldberg (Henry Lehrman) enlist in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Goldberg receives a lieutenant’s commission while Cohen becomes a sergeant. During the Battle of Gettysburg, Cohen inadvertently becomes a hero when he tosses back an enemy hand grenade and raises a fallen flag in the midst of the conflict. Goldberg conspires to have Cohen shot by a firing squad, but Cohen’s girlfriend Rebecca (Mabel Normand) rides to the rescue and details Cohen’s battlefield bravery. Cohen is hailed for his valor and later exacts revenge on Goldberg.



Cohen Saves the Flag was a part of Mack Sennett’s "Cohen" series that used a burlesque of Jewish stereotypes for its humor. Typical of the film’s comedy is having Cohen chased into a pigsty, where he views the porcine residents with nervous apprehension – this is an obvious riff on the Jewish prohibition on eating pork.[1]

Sennett set up his production company for Cohen Saves the Flag alongside Thomas H. Ince’s epic The Battle of Gettysburg. Sennett staged his battlefield scenes on the edge of Ince’s production, capturing Ince’s grand wartime sequences for his film while keeping the Cohen Saves the Flag cast discreetly out of Ince’s camera range. Today, The Battle of Gettysburg is considered a lost film, and all that remains of that endeavor are the battlefield scenes appropriated by Sennett for his slapstick film.[2]


  1. ^ Patricia Erens (1988). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 40. ISBN 0-253-20493-3.
  2. ^ Frank Thompson (1996). Lost Films. Citadel Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-8065-1604-6.

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