This autumn, Dr. Earl Headley is eagerly demonstrating what seems to be a miraculous cure for tuberculosis. Yet not far from where he is working, the disease seems ready to claim yet ...
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This autumn, Dr. Earl Headley is eagerly demonstrating what seems to be a miraculous cure for tuberculosis. Yet not far from where he is working, the disease seems ready to claim yet another life, a young woman named Winifred, who is already seriously ill. Winifred's mother and younger sister Trixie are devastated by the news. When Trixie hears the family doctor say of Winifred that "when the last leaf falls, she will have passed away", she interprets the doctor's words literally. Thinking over what she has heard, she determines to do everything possible to save her sister. Written by
One of the 50 films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931" (2004), compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. This film is preserved by the Library of Congress (from the Public Archives of Canada/Jerome House collection), has a running time of 12 minutes and an added piano music score. See more »
The Family Doctor:
WHEN THE LAST LEAF FALLS, SHE WILL HAVE PASSED AWAY
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Alice Guy-Blaché, A Pioneer Film Director In Many Aspects
Dr. Earl Headley has found a wonderful serum for the cure of consumption, a terrible disease that struck people at the beginning of the last century ( fortunately we, the aristocrats, don't have those diseases; we only suffer gout or delirium tremens ). Youngster Winifred, has many serious problems; not only does she have to wear a ribbon bigger than her head, she also has consumption. The family doctor, tells her mother and father that the poor little girl will pass away "when the last leaf falls". Little Trixie, Winifred's young sister, hears the terrible news and in order to save her sister, she ties together the leaves in the family garden trying to keep her sister from dying. It is in this fateful garden, where little Trixie meets accidentally Dr. Earl Headley and this encounter leads to the doctor giving his wonderful serum to Winifred and saving her life. Three months later, Winifred is completely cured and this German Count hopes that the first medical practitioner, the family doctor, was fired for his incompetence.
"Falling Leaves" was directed by Dame Alice Guy, also known as Alice Guy-Blaché, a pioneer film director in many aspects. She was French ( not a remarkable fact, at all ) and the world's first woman director, and was very prolific and even experimented with sound in several of her early films. She worked in France and USA, where she formed the production company that made this film. "Falling Leaves" is a good example of those early films for which Dame Alice Guy was known. It's a one-reel production that depicts a simple story with a static camera but in an effective way ( the garden sequence has a special oneiric atmosphere ). The actors play their roles with extravagant gestures but the only thing that really matters in this one-reel production was the message not the messengers.
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