Marvin Breckinridge was an amateur filmmaker, best known for her 1930 silent film The Forgotten Frontier. This film presents the activities of the Frontier Nursing Service, a group (primarily women) that provided medical services in remote and rural areas of Kentucky. While the film was named to the National Film Registry in 1996, its position as an amateur production, a late silent film, and documentary made outside of commercial production and distribution networks compound its marginality. Despite having a place on the Film Registry, Breckinridge and her films have received little scholarly attention. This neglect cannot be ascribed to a shortage of documentation about her work; archival and historical sources of information about Breckinridge’s life and filmmaking are plentiful. She took meticulous notes during the production of her completed films, and along with her published memoir, these offer us unique access to Brickinridge’s filmmaking activities.
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