The Man Without a Country (1973 film)

The Man Without a Country is a 1973 American made-for-television drama film based on the short story "The Man Without a Country" by Edward Everett Hale.

The Man Without a Country
Based onThe Man Without a Country
Written byEdward Everett Hale
Screenplay bySidney Carroll
Directed byDelbert Mann
StarringCliff Robertson
Beau Bridges
Peter Strauss
Theme music composerJack Elliott
Allyn Ferguson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Norman Rosemont
CinematographyAndrew Laszlo
Editor(s)Gene Milford
Running time78 min.
Production company(s)Norman Rosemont Productions
Original networkABC
Original releaseApril 24, 1973


A man damns his country and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in exile.



Rosemont spent three years trying to raise finance. He spent $16,000 of his own money to prepare a visual presentation of the film and arranged for a script for be written by Sidney Carroll. During the course of research he discovered that the book was not based on a true story although it was inspired by the Aaron Burr conspiracy.[1]

He eventually succeeded in getting sponsorship from Eastman Kodak.[1]

"Casting was so essential," said Rosemont. "We had to find an actor who could age 60 years on screen. The makeup was the easiest. Making him look young was the hardest."[1]

Rosemont approached Cliff Robertson, although the actor had not done television for years. "But when he saw our research it turned him on." he said. "It's a dream part for an actor."[1]

Cliff Robertson signed to make the film in August 1972 and filming began in September. "We had to change our schedule to fit Cliff's," said Rosemont. "It cost me a lot of money but it was worth it."[1]

Filming took place in Mystic, Connecticut, Newport, Rhode Island and Fort Niagra, New York. .[2]

Filming was expensive. "I do my own work," said Rosemont. "If there's a deficit I pay for it. My money is on the line. I put it on screen. Hopefully it will enjoy many repeats; it's an ageless story, a potential TV perennial."[1]


In the summer of 1972, the replica of HMS Rose (later renamed HMS Surprise for another film) was hired for the film, a made-for-television production. Norman Rosemont Productions was unable to find the money to take the ship out sailing, so all the filming was shot with sails set, as the ship was securely moored to the pier, next to the causeway to Goat Island. During filming Cliff Robertson had to hide that he had a broken leg at the time.[3]


The film was nominated for Best Cinematography for Entertainment Programming - For a Special or Feature Length Program Made for Television at the 26th Primetime Emmy Awards


  1. 'WITHOUT A COUNTRY': Rosemont: A Man With a Project Page, Don. Los Angeles Times 18 Apr 1973: 31.
  2. Robertson to Play Lead in 'Country' Los Angeles Times 21 Aug 1972: f20.
  3. Millar, John Fitzhugh. "Building the Replicas of Revolutionary War Ships Rose and Providence". smallstatebighistory. Retrieved 26 December 2017.

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