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By Bert L . Morgan

GENRE: Documentary, Historical, Independent
LOGLINE: Crazy Bet is a docudrama feature about about a female Union Spy in the Civil War


"Crazy Bet" is a feature length drama about one of the most famous Union spies of the Civil War, Elizabeth Van Lew. Bert Morgan , who owns BLM Productions in Fairfax Virginia, has been doing docudramas and documentaries about the Civil War since 1999. Our company is in the fund raising status on this project currently. The final script is being completed before the first of the year. The Producers of "Crazy Bet" also will be entering this film in all the top film festivals in America and abroad. The following is a short synopsis of the story we hope to prepare for PBS, and national screening: Elizabeth Van Lew, born in Richmond, Virginia, was the daughter of a prominent business man. She lived in a large three story mansion on Church Hill. Elizabeth was educated in PA. One might think she would be a proper southern lady, but , that was not the case. Elizabeth hated slavery and war. The townsfolk and her neighbors also had negative thoughts about her allegiance to the "southern cause" regarding secession. Miss Van Lew was considered by her neighbors as a Union sympathizer. Life in Richmond was difficult for her. Yet dissimulation, it seems clear, was actually the quality that she possessed above all others. Without it she could not have bribed farmers, used Confederate clerks and attorneys, maintained lasting contact with secret service men for the President of the United States, and helped prisoners to escape. At times Miss Lizzie could be acid-tongued, scalding in her contempt;and she was gentle and flattering when it helped her. Early in Elizabeth's life she remarked, "From the time I knew right from wrong it was my sad privilege to differ in many things from the . . . opinions and principles of my locality." She described herself as "uncompromising , ready to resent what seemed wrong, quick and passionate but not bad tempered or vicious. . . . This has made my life sad and earnest." Miss Lizzy soon made plans, with the help of her mother, to make arrangements to get access to Libby Prison in Richmond to nurse the Union prisoners. There it started, plans were carried out to set up a network of spies that involved the U.S. Secret Service. She communicated directly with U.S. Grant and continued that until the end of the war. During her work as a spy for the Union, she was considered by the Confederate soldiers as a "bit odd" and they called her "Crazy Bet". Miss Lizzie used that persona to her advantage, hiding in plain site, was able to create one of the most elaborate spy networks consisting of exchanging information, assisting in prison breaks, conducting an "underground network", and arranging the placement of a Union spy at the home of the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. "Crazy Bet" was considered as one of the most important spies of the Civil War. This feature length drama follows her life during the Civil War years and after.


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