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Let There Be Light (1946)

The final entry in a trilogy of films produced for the U.S. government by John Huston. This documentary film follows 75 U.S. soldiers who have sustained debilitating emotional trauma and ... See full summary »

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Storyline

The final entry in a trilogy of films produced for the U.S. government by John Huston. This documentary film follows 75 U.S. soldiers who have sustained debilitating emotional trauma and depression. A series of scenes chronicle their entry into a psychiatric hospital, their treatment and eventual recovery. Written by Kieran Kenney

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Documentary | War

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16 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es werde Licht!  »

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Additional title screen - "The United States Army Presents PMF 5019 (War Office seal) MCMXLVIII (1948)". The PMF stands for "Professional Medical Film" and was part of a series produced by the U.S. Army on various topics of military medicine from the late 1940's through the 1960's. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: These are the casualties of the spirit, the troubled in mind. Men who are damaged emotionally. Born and bred in peace, educated to hate war, they were overnight plunged into sudden and terrible situations. Every man has his breaking point and these in the fulfillment of their duties as soldiers were forced beyond the limits of human endurance.
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Connections

Featured in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Huston's Let There Be Light is quite compelling in showing some surviving veterans' period of adjustment back to civilian life
29 May 2012 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

In honor of Memorial Day which was yesterday, I watched the first two of John Huston's World War II documentaries, Report from the Aleutians and San Pietro. Now I've just viewed a restored version of Let There Be Light, which explored the psychological effects of war veterans that survived those battles being treated in a hospital, on the National Film Preservation Foundation site on recommendation of Leonard Maltin on his. One couldn't walk, one couldn't talk, and then there was an African-American one whose only solace came when he got something delivered to him from his girlfriend back home. Whether his skin color had something to do with his social reticence, I don't know but since the military was still segregated then, it couldn't have helped. Though it should also be noted that the place he stayed at was integrated. John's father Walter Huston provided wise narration as written by his son and Dimitri Tiomkin provided a score that didn't dominate too much of the proceedings. This film, made for the Army, might have been too realistic for them which resulted in it being kept from the public until 1980, but today it may have been a little easy solution-wise since there's no one depicted as not having been cured by the end though the Hustons make sure you know that it does take time for that. Anyway, Let There Be Light is essential viewing for anyone curious about what some veterans who survive go through in trying to go back to a normal life. They certainly deserve our utmost thanks for even braving it out in the first place!


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