Stairway to Light (1945)

Approved  |   |  Short, Drama, History  |  3 November 1945 (USA)
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The story of 18th Century French physician Dr. Phillipe Pinel, whose initiated enlightened, humane treatment of the mentally ill.



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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
John Nesbitt ...
Narrator (voice)


Part of MGM's Passing Parade series, the focus is on Dr. Phillippe Pinel, head of an asylum during the time of the French Revolution. Pinel couldn't believe what he found on his first inspection of the facility. Several of the inmates had been there for 30 years or more and lived in horrible conditions, a prison rather than a hospital. He believed that the mentally could be cured and within two years of over a hundred inmates were released. His work was not popular and he was beaten on the street only to be rescued by one of the inmates he had released years before. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | History






Release Date:

3 November 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passing Parade No. 54: Stairway to Light  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included on the Warner DVD of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) See more »


Narrator: The iron gates built to keep madmen in served once to keep madmen out.
See more »


Follows The Story of Alfred Nobel (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

26 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Stairway to Light (1945)

*** (out of 4)

Oscar winning short about how mentally disabled people were at one time thrown into dark dungeons and chained to walls until Dr. Phillipe Pinel determined that love could cure any disease. This short means well and tells an interesting story but I'm really not sure Charles Manson would be a better person if we just released him from prison and said we loved him.

Turner Classic Movies usually shows this as part of their Oscar month so that will be your best shot at seeing this.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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