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The Great Heart (1938)

Approved  |   |  Short, Biography  |  31 December 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 63 users  
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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.



(screenplay) (as Morgan B. Cox)
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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
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Did You Know?


Version of Molokai (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

True story of Father Damien in this MGM short...
12 February 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Based on the true story of a Belgian priest, Father Damien, who made breakthroughs in the treatment of Leprosy in the 1860s. TOM NEAL is cast as the young priest who is the first to respond to the leprosy crisis and becomes instrumental in helping the colony clean up its act.

In doing so, he eventually succumbs to the disease through his contact with the suffering souls under his care.

Narrated by Carey Wilson, it's the tale of a brave man who triumphed over great odds until his own death after years of making inroads in improvements. Not done with any great flair and a bit overly dramatic, it's an above average short subject that was nominated for a 1938 Best Short Subject Oscar.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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