6.4/10
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8 user 2 critic

The Sunbeam (1912)

Not Rated | | Drama, Short, Romance | 26 February 1912 (USA)
Set in a tenement boarding house, a lonely confirmed bachelor occupies a room across the hall from a dour spinster. Children run amok in the hallways playing pranks. Believing the bachelor ... See full summary »

Director:

D.W. Griffith
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ynez Seabury ... Sunbeam
Kate Bruce ... Sunbeam's Mamma
Claire McDowell ... Spinster
Dell Henderson ... Bachelor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mabel Taliaferro
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Storyline

Set in a tenement boarding house, a lonely confirmed bachelor occupies a room across the hall from a dour spinster. Children run amok in the hallways playing pranks. Believing the bachelor perpetrated one particular prank, the spinster woman enters his room to confront him. She is followed by a neighbor child. Meanwhile, the other children have stolen a scarlet fever quarantine sign and posted it on the bachelor's door. The police, unaware that the quarentine sign is a prank, enforce the confinement. But aided by the sweet disposition of the toddler quarantined with them, the icy relations between spinster and bachelor begin to thaw, . . . Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

slum | melodrama | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Short | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 1912 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le rayon de soleil See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Simple & Markedly Sentimental, But Presented With Skill
4 September 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This short feature is simple and markedly sentimental, but it is presented with skill. As a result, it makes its simple point effectively, and while there were many weightier dramas made in the early 1910s, this one holds up as well as most.

The story is about a young girl who becomes a "Sunbeam" into the lives of others, and it is vaguely similar to the more familiar story of "Pollyanna". The material could easily have become hopelessly maudlin, but Griffith keeps it on track most of the time. The very young girl who plays the "sunbeam" seems to respond well to Griffith's direction.

Another thing that helps make the film work is the amusing contrast between the "sunbeam" girl and the other children in the film, who are much more impish. This also makes it notable as a rare instance of humor in a Griffith film. It might not be anything profound, but it's a pretty good film of its kind, and it really remains as worthwhile as it was in its own day.


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