6.8/10
343
12 user 4 critic

The Light That Failed (1939)

Passed | | Drama | 24 December 1939 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Vagabond poet François Villon rises to high office in 1463 Paris.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Ronald Colman, Basil Rathbone, Frances Dee
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Russian prince goes to Monte Carlo just after World War I with money supplied him by Parisian Russians. He wins but the casino operators want him honor the tradition of returning to the ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: Ronald Colman, Joan Bennett, Colin Clive
A Double Life (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Ronald Colman, Edmond O'Brien, Signe Hasso
Raffles (1930)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A distinguished English gentleman has a secret life--he is the notorious jewel thief the press has dubbed "The Amateur Cracksman". When he meets a woman and falls in love he decides to "... See full summary »

Directors: George Fitzmaurice, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Stars: Ronald Colman, Kay Francis, David Torrence
Cynara (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

London barrister's marriage is under strain after his affair with a shop-girl who is out to have him. Told in flashback.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Ronald Colman, Kay Francis, Phyllis Barry
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George and Catherine Apley of Boston lead a proper life in the proper social circle, as did the Apleys before them. When grown daughter Eleanor falls in love with Howard (from New York!), ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Ronald Colman, Vanessa Brown, Richard Haydn
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two strangers share a sweepstakes ticket and then embark on an "imaginary" honeymoon with their "winnings".

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Ronald Colman, Ginger Rogers, Jack Carson
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bored WWI veteran helps out a young woman, whose uncle is being held hostage by embezzlers.

Director: F. Richard Jones
Stars: Ronald Colman, Claud Allister, Lawrence Grant
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the mid-1700's the East India Company has power over commerce on the sub-continent, with the blessings of the British government. A clerk in the company, Robert Clive, is frustrated by ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, Colin Clive
Condemned! (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Suave thief Colman is sent to Devil's Island, where he becomes romantically involved with the wife of sadistic warden Digges.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Ronald Colman, Ann Harding, Dudley Digges
Framed (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mike Lambert, seeking a mining job, instead becomes the patsy for a femme-fatale's schemes.

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: Glenn Ford, Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan
Crack-Up (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
The Nilghai
...
Beeton
Ferike Boros ...
Madame Binat
...
Monsieur Binat
...
Gardner
...
Dick as a Boy
Sarita Wooton ...
Maisie as a Girl
...
Doctor
Charles Irwin ...
Soldier Model
...
George
...
Cassavetti
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Luz Que Se Apaga  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial television broadcast took place in Omaha Thursday 20 November 1958 on KETV (Channel 7); in Chicago and Milwaukee it first aired 4 May 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2) and on WITI (Channel 6), in Seattle 16 May 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), in Detroit 23 September 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2), on 17 October 1959, simultaneously both in Phoenix on KVAR (Channel 12) and in Toledo on WTOL (Channel 11), in Minneapolis 24 October 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Asheville 30 October 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), and finally in New York City 11 June 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). 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

Referenced in M*A*S*H: The Light That Failed (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Tragic Life Of Richard Heldar
27 August 2011 | by See all my reviews

The Light That Failed was the second of a two picture deal Ronald Colman made with Paramount after getting shed of his contract to Sam Goldwyn. Hard to choose between this and If I Were King the other film that was part of the deal as to which was better. I won't even try.

Colman essays the part of Richard Heldar who, but for a tragic accident might have gone on to be acclaimed one of the great artists of the 19th century. The film is based on the first published novel by Rudyard Kipling and according to the Citadel Film series book The Films Of Ronald Colman, this film stayed truer to the story that Kipling told than two previous silent screen versions.

While a pictorial correspondent covering the British war in the Sudan against the Mahdi, Colman is accidentally cut on the forehead by a blade wielding Walter Huston during a battle. A slow moving injury to the optic nerve degenerates Colman's vision, but he's determined to paint on while he can.

Two women are involved with Colman, long time childhood sweetheart Muriel Angelus and tart in every sense of the word Ida Lupino who serves as a model for Colman. Lupino had to battle for this part, director William Wellman wanted her, Colman wanted Vivien Leigh. As much as I like Vivien Leigh, I can't see her doing this part better than Lupino did.

The film really is a personal vehicle for Ronald Colman who typifies the British ideal, it's how they see themselves, it's the image they like to convey to the world. Colman does dominate this film as he usually does in his films.

And as entertainment it holds up well after more than 70 years, don't miss The Light That Failed if you are a fan of Ronald Colman.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page