Jack London: American Original

(Director Ben) Goldstein’s film feels comprehensive and even definitive… – Huffington Post

…the best biographical film about Jack London, using scholarly evidence, that has ever been produced. – Jack London Society


Jack London rises from poverty to become the highest paid, most controversial and most popular writer in the world. As an adventurer, author, sailor, Klondiker, journalist, playwright and social reformer. Jack’s exploits, love affairs, and political machinations were followed by newspapers throughout the world. Jack London not only bridged the gap between romantic and modern literature he was also a sensational photographer whose works appeared in the Hearst papers and magazines throughout the country. This documentary uses Jack’s photographic accounts of the Japanese-Russo War, the slums of London in 1902, The San Francisco Earthquake and the Mexican Revolution to illustrate his point of view. In April of 1907, Jack and Charmian London set sail for the South Seas, on the “Snark,” a boat, Jack designed and built. His photos, stories and articles on Hawaii and the South seas helped popularize surfing, boosted tourism, and provided the first view millions of Americans had of the beauties and tragedies of these islands and their indigenous peoples.  One of the leading Socialists of his time, Jack wrote the introductions to and helped raise the money for Upton Sinclair’s book “The Jungle.” This book led to the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Jack was also instrumental in changing the copyright laws in America. Jack London died on November 22, 1916. Scholars still argue over whether London wittingly or unwittingly committed suicide with a self-induced overdose of morphine. or died from a stroke and heart failure.

Written & Directed by: Ben Goldstein

Cast: Barry Chiate

Narrator: James Behr

Original Score: James Behr

View Trailer:


About the Director: Ben Goldstein is the producer, writer, and director of the feature-length documentary,  Jack London: American Original. He is the author of a trilogy of plays on the life of Jack London. Workshops of two of the plays Jack London: First Loves and  Jack London: Sex, Love, and Revolution have had performances at Marvell Repertory Theater and The NYC Fringe Festival. Writer, producer, director of 23 films and videos shown on Sesame Street and 3-2-1- Contact. His films and videos have been included in many prestigious festivals and shown in numerous countries around the world and at the Museum of Modern Art. Ben is also the creator, writer, producer, and director of the children’s environmental performing group World Patrol Kids.  Productions with this group include the award-winning videos: Earth Tunes for Kids, Recycle It!, Save Our Animal Friends, The Importance Of Trees, and Water and the Earth.  Videos and songs from “World Patrol Kids” are presently airing on the BBC as part of Almost Famous, a documentary about Natalie Portman.  His plays and theatrical works have appeared on and off Broadway.

Program Type: Documentary
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 108 mins
Language(s): English
Format: SD