May 19, 2011

New Soapy Smith video review



A while back I had mentioned a poor attempt to make money off of my photographs by a Gerald Clough. For several years he has been advertising that he was making a video about the life of Soapy Smith. He took, without asking, photographs from me and the Denver Public Library, the Colorado Historical Society,  and the Alaska State Archives and Museum. When I contacted him he was arrogant and rude. Using photographs for educational purposes is one thing but this guy is attempting to profit from other peoples work. Mind you he only stole photographs. He is not interested in my research, thus his video is absolutely worthless for historical content. Judging from his wording he used the 1935 The Reign of Soapy Smith and then sprinkled in his own made up stories. Sadly, he has worked on this thing for several years and it still turned out badly. The title of his work is Soapy Smith: The Gold Rush GoodFella. That link is a pay only site, however, if you want to see the video for free just go to Mr. Clough's site. There, you will be asked to pay but the video runs automatically so you don't need to pay to see it. Believe it or not Mr. Clough is in the business of building websites.

Anyone who has read my book will immediately recognize the onslaught of continuous mistakes Mr. Clough makes in telling the Soapy Smith story. The mistakes vary from passing on outdated material, such as calling Soapy's wife Mable, when her name was Mary, to mispronunciation of terms, such as  calling Round Rock, Texas Red Rock, Texas, and Joe Simmons becomes Joe Simons. This is a 60-minute video and those mistakes, plus more, were heard in the first few minutes. It pained me to listen to the whole hour as there are more mistaken statements than there are correct ones.

I tend to be somewhat bias on this topic. Please tell me what you think? Did you enjoy it?


Jeff Smith









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