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The Great Heart (1938)

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Carey Wilson tells the true story of the heroic sacrifice of Father Damien who suffered a living death in order to bring hope and God's comfort to the lepers confined on Molokai Island.



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Title: The Great Heart (1938)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Cast overview:
Carey Wilson ...


This short tells the story of Joseph Damien de Beuster (1840-89), the Belgian priest known as Father Damien, who worked for many years among the lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Biography


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Release Date:

31 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carey Wilson's The Great Heart  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Version of Father Damien: The Leper Priest (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

He Really Walked The Walk
13 January 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In this day and age we're living in, religious figures have come under intense scrutiny for some really serious failings, it's a pleasure to know that some really do walk the walk. No one more so than Father Damien of Molokai who found his calling ministering to the leper colony of Molokai until he himself came down with the ancient biblical plague, known in the modern world as Hansen's Disease.

The short subject is narrated by Carey Wilson and a young Tom Neal played Father Damien in the short docudrama. A much more ambitious production was done as a made for TV film with Ken Howard as Father Damien. The big screen in America has not touched this inspiring story oddly enough.

I think it's ironic that Tom Neal should be playing Father Damien considering the problems he later got into. Let's just say his life was far from saintly.

The Great Heart got an Oscar nomination for Best Short Subject. It's a cheaply made film, but with the most inspiring of subjects.

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