6.7/10
383
13 user 5 critic

The Light That Failed (1939)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, War | 24 December 1939 (USA)
Dick Heldar, a London artist, is gradually losing his sight. He struggles to complete his masterpiece, the portrait of Bessie Broke, a cockney girl, before his eyesight fails him.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Robert Carson (screen play), Rudyard Kipling (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Colman ... Dick Heldar
Walter Huston ... Torpenhow
Muriel Angelus ... Maisie
Ida Lupino ... Bessie Broke
Dudley Digges ... The Nilghai
Ernest Cossart ... Beeton
Ferike Boros ... Madame Binat
Pedro de Cordoba ... Monsieur Binat
Colin Tapley ... Gardner
Ronald Sinclair ... Dick as a Boy
Sarita Wooton Sarita Wooton ... Maisie as a Girl
Halliwell Hobbes ... Doctor
Charles Irwin ... Soldier Model
Francis McDonald ... George
George Regas ... Cassavetti
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Storyline

Dick Heldar, a London artist, is gradually losing his sight. He struggles to complete his masterpiece, the portrait of Bessie Broke, a cockney girl, before his eyesight fails him. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Rudyard Kipling's great romance of Dick Heldar, artist, adventurer, gentleman unafraid, gloriously re-created by the world's most distinguished cast! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial television broadcast took place in Omaha Thursday 20 November 1958 on KETV (Channel 7); in Chicago and Milwaukee it first aired 4 May 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2) and on WITI (Channel 6), in Seattle 16 May 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), in Detroit 23 September 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2), on 17 October 1959, simultaneously both in Phoenix on KVAR (Channel 12) and in Toledo on WTOL (Channel 11), in Minneapolis 24 October 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Asheville 30 October 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), and finally in New York City 11 June 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Goofs

At c.16 minutes the English newspaper displays the American spelling of the word "vigour". See more »

Quotes

Dick Heldar: Painting is seeing, then remembering better than you saw.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 3 (1942) See more »

User Reviews

Well done, beautifully acted, and as melodramatic as possible
1 August 1999 | by otterSee all my reviews

Authors just don't have the nerve to write melodrama any more. They're afraid of big issues and larger-than-life emotions, they're afraid that if they put any real passion or sentiment on the page, they'll make fools of themselves. They're probably right, but when a story as sappy as this works, it really, uh, "tugs at the heartstrings" as they used to say.

Rudyard Kipling's war horse story works because it's well acted and directed. Ronald Colman is even more wonderful than usual as a Victorian artist who finds he's going blind, and has just enough time left to paint a masterpiece. Never was an actor more admirable, earnest, and lovable as Colman. Ida Lupino got her big break as the model for "Melancholy". Oh, she's wonderful; a mean, vicious, petty little tart, never again would anybody dismiss her as just another pretty face. This part established her as one of the all-time great Bad Girls, beautiful and strong enough to make over-the-top hysteria seem like bravura acting. She's great.

The direction is as lively as can be for what's largely two characters in one room, and the B&W photography is beautifully expressive. Recommended for when you want some old-fashioned unashamed emotion.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Luz Que Se Apaga See more »

Filming Locations:

Espanola, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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