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The Light That Failed (1939)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  24 December 1939 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 235 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

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.

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(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Muriel Angelus ...
...
Dudley Digges ...
Ernest Cossart ...
Beeton
Ferike Boros ...
Pedro de Cordoba ...
Colin Tapley ...
Gardner
...
Dick as a Boy
Sarita Wooton ...
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:

Only Rudyard Kipling could write such a romance! Only Ronald Colman could play such a role! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Luz Que Se Apaga  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lupino was so anxious to play the part, that she stole a copy of the script and stormed into William Wellman's office demanding a chance to audition. She convinced Wellman but not co-star Colman, who wanted Vivien Leigh to play the role. Because Wellman held out for Lupino, the actor unsuccessfully tried to have him replaced. The actor and director maintained a chilly relationship on the set. 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

Featured in Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 3 (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Voice
2 April 2010 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

Another reader beat me to it ,but first and foremost, was there ever in Hollywood a more mellifluous voice than Ronald Colmans'? He could read a phone book and it would sound like poetry.

Well, that's the main reason to see "The Light That Failed", as it comes perilously close to a potboiler. The story is not compelling and is slow-paced, and for todays audiences it is a tad chauvinistic as well as racist, with talk of the "Fuzzy-Wuzzies", the native enemies in this tale set in Englands'late-Victorian Colonial period.

This picture does not do justice to, in my opinion, America's greatest actor Walter Huston, who is given a supporting role to Colman and does not upstage him in any of their scenes together. Ida Lupino turns in an excellent performance but does not steal the picture with her cockney accent, as reported by Leonard Maltin (does he see any of these old films or just read old reviews?).

I did not read the book but the movie is worth your time to see (and mostly to hear) Ronald Colman, as well as the other fine acting performances which harken to a day when movies were more substance than form instead of vice versa.


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