Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The First Suffragist

An original screenplay by feminist attorney & screenwriter Arlaine Rockey

 
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A film about the first woman to call for women's right to vote at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, who led the original women's rights movement with Susan B. Anthony for over fifty years.

Screenwriter Arlaine Rockey, as an Executive Producer, is seeking funding, producers, a female director, and actors to bring Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The First Suffragist to the screen. The 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the United States, will be in 2020.  Arlaine Rockey appreciates your sharing this page with anyone you think might be interested in participating in this endeavor.  

The radical tactics of the intellectual leader of the original women's rights movement

anger young suffragists and frustrate her closest friend, Susan B. Anthony.

This will be the first biopic of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the pioneer feminist who improved the lives of millions of women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the intellectual and radical force behind the original women's rights movement for over fifty years, but when she published a feminist critique of the Bible in 1895, she was publicly censured for allegedly damaging the cause of suffrage. Based on true events and research drawn from multiple sources, all in the public domain, Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The First Suffragist is a moving, sometimes humorous, and inspirational biopic about an American hero.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the strategic trailblazer of the first women's rights movement that she led with Susan B. Anthony.  Despite repeated condemnation, Elizabeth persevered. The story covers her adult life and struggles, as a wife, mother, friend, and activist, with key formative moments woven into the narrative.  It will make the audience root for Elizabeth, cry and laugh with her, and marvel at her brazen spirit and her contributions that deserve to be recognized and appreciated.

With the international resurgence of the women's rights movement, annual marches, Me Too and Time's Up, women running for President, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 2020, that finally gave women the right to vote, women all over the world will be inspired by this film and will take their children and grandchildren back to see it.

Arlaine Rockey's screenplay, Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The First Suffragist, placed in the top 20% in the 2018 Nicholl Fellowship Screenplay Competition and the second round (top 15%) in the drama genre in the 2018 and 2016 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competitions.  

As a feminist attorney, Arlaine Rockey first read Elizabeth Cady Stanton's autobiography when Arlaine was leading the movement to eliminate the North Carolina marital rape exemption.  She was inspired by Elizabeth Cady Stanton's persistance despite numerous hurdles, even within her own movement.  Because she has been overshadowed in history by her accomplice and best friend, Susan B. Anthony, Arlaine decided that many women and girls need to know about Elizabeth Cady Stanton's incredible life and work.  Arlaine thinks ECS should be appreciated as a feminist icon, just like RBG.

PRAISE for Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The First Suffragist

"Elizabeth Cady Stanton is an impressive figure from all angles, and this script tells her story with passion and aplomb. We get a strong sense of not only what Elizabeth stood for and why she fought, but who she was as a woman. By showing her more human qualities, her vulnerabilities and struggles, she stands out as a real person, not just a significant historical figure, and that makes her story all the more engaging. We can share in her success and challenges, and feel a sense of victory when the epilogue tells us of the ultimate success of the suffrage movement. The supporting cast is rich and compelling as well. Elizabeth encounters and works with several important players in the movement for equality, including Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass has one of the most powerful scenes of the script, when he argues that the right of African Americans to live in safety is currently more urgent than women's suffrage, citing the atrocities of lynchings and hate crimes. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is long overdue for a contemporary and worthy biopic, and this script does her and her noble cause justice, with passion and humanity."

"The script is well written with intelligence and has an authentic feel for the period in which it takes place. The character of Elizabeth Cady Stanton is depicted well in both descriptions and dialogue. It feels like a character that a leading actress would want to play, with the strength of character and conviction that she had, yet while being a wife and mother of so many children. Along with her zeal for women's rights, her love and concern for her family still comes through, especially in the scene where her young boys attach corks to the baby and almost drown him."

"It was fascinating to get a glimpse at the birth of the women's movement, stemming a lot from the abolitionist movement. She increasingly saw how, even in a movement for freedom, women were still devalued. In London, she and other women weren't even allowed in the same area as the men at the World Anti-Slavery Convention. The script does well to plant those early seeds of dissatisfaction in Stanton. Men who fought for rights weren't fighting for the rights of all. Even her husband, who let her remove obedience from their vows, resented her independence. Throughout, Stanton has some remarkable speeches. It was awe-inspiring to see her stand before the House Judiciary Committee in DC. Also, it was interesting to see the derision in the movement. At first, women were wary of asking for the vote. Later, the movement dissociated itself from Stanton's The Woman's Bible, because it was blasphemous. It was fascinating to see how even in a radical movement, she was too radical. She pushed the boundaries where few else would, which made this story so exciting. Also, Susan B. Anthony was a strong character. It was utterly compelling to watch the growth of her bond with Stanton. It was powerful to see her ferociously defend Stanton's freedom of thought against Rachel Foster Avery, as well as religious tolerance."

"The script makes a smart move with the early emphasis on her associations with abolitionists: it's particularly powerful to see women's exclusion and inferiority even at conferences fighting for human rights of another oppressed group. The script also makes good use of other familiar, historical figures, particularly Susan B. Anthony: her friendship with Elizabeth leads to some of the best scenes, and the inclusion of [Susan B. Anthony's] trial [for voting illegally] is a highlight."

"Stanton is a great subject for this sort of prestige political biopic; it's the kind of subject matter that gets awards attention, and fortunately there are several great roles for women in the script."

"Scene descriptions are extremely vivid, highlighting an attention to research which definitely creates a world for the reader. Everything from the locations to character body types were articulated, leaving no question as to what the story would look like on screen. The premise is one that has potential to draw interest from A-Level talent as Elizabeth's struggle for women's rights was a formidable task."

"This writer does a great job tackling the first push for women's suffrage in the United States. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is an engaging protagonist because of her complex personality and motives. It's interesting to see her defy the standards of male vs. female, to fight to abolish slavery, to be a caring mother to seven children, and to push for the female right to vote. Her strong personality and drive also allows for engaging conflicts, all which she struggles with while trying to raise her children. The multiple successes she had before her death give perspective on how much of a battle suffrage really was for women of the time." 

Help get Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The First Suffragist to the screen.  Share this page with others.  Contact ArlaineRockey@gmail.com.  #ECS


Read more about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

Free kindle e-books (in the public domain)

Eighty Years and More, ECS' autobiography

The History of Woman Suffrage (multiple volumes edited by ECS, SBA and Matilda Joslyn Gage)

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     The History of Woman Suffrage Vol. I

     The History of Woman Suffrage Vol. II  

     The History of Woman Suffrage Vol. III 

     The History of Woman Suffrage Vol. I-VI ($0.99 for all in one e-book)

The Woman's Bible (ECS' radical feminist critique of the Bible, published in 1895).

Susan B. Anthony's Trial for Voting Illegally for President in 1872 (free e-book) (trial proceedings)