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Falling Leaves (1912)

Not Rated | | Short , Drama | 15 March 1912 (USA)
Trixie Thompson concludes that the only way she could save her sister from dying of the "white plague" is by preventing the autumn leaves from falling. Little Trixie knows all this because ... See full summary »


Alice Guy (uncredited)

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Cast overview:
Mace Greenleaf ... Dr. Earl Headley - a Lung Specialist
Blanche Cornwall ... Mrs. Griswold Thompson - the Mother
Marian Swayne ... Winifred Thompson
Magda Foy ... Little Trixie Thompson (as The Solax Kid)
Darwin Karr ... Mr. Griswold Thompson


Trixie Thompson concludes that the only way she could save her sister from dying of the "white plague" is by preventing the autumn leaves from falling. Little Trixie knows all this because she had heard her elders say that those troubled with weak lungs usually begin to suffer and probably die when the leaves begin to fall. Winifred, Trixie's older sister, is on the verge of contracting tuberculosis. Tlie little girl loves her sister too much to let her die, so one night she steals into the garden in her "nightie" and fastens the fallen leaves with twine and hangs them up on the trees. Trixie keeps a rigid vigil for months and all the leaves that fall in the garden are replaced on the trees. While Trixie busied herself with this metaphorical occupation, Dr. Earl Headley. a young lung specialist, discovers a serum which cures consumption. He is called in by the Thompsons and Winifred is soon brought back to health. The doctor not only restores her lungs but takes her heart. Little ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama


Not Rated






Release Date:

15 March 1912 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les feuilles chéant See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Solax Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Solax production #136. See more »


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User Reviews

No more Mimis.
20 August 2018 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

Alice Guy's US career produced relatively few really good films but Guy was a great searcher after ideas and would from time to time, as she had done in her French career, come up with a good one. It is excellent news for instance that her "race film" of 1912, A Fool and his Money has now been rediscoveerd and restored and let us hope that one day her In the Year 2000, a more sophisticated remake of her earlier Résultats du féminisme, will also be rediscovered. She has also a very good instinct for topical subjects. Her Making of an American Ciitizen, again 1912, if rather crudely presented, was a sharp-witted repsponse to the controversy over immigration tht preocupied the US in these years. Here similarly she has taken the subject of the "white plague", tuberculosis, a disease known thoughout history but considered in the nineteenth century to be the mal de siècle, and produced a typically modern account (cinema custiomarily allied itself with modernity in this way) that rejected the romantic fatalism of nineteenth-centiry accounts. It is clever idea to privilege her Frenchness - picked up by the Moving Picture World review - by a reference to the best known example, Murger's Scènes de la vie de Bohème, and, as it were, reverse the magnets. So it would be quite inappropriate for the girl to die in this film. While "the beautiful death" of Mimi is accepted as a fatality (an aspect even more strongly emphasised by the theatrical and operatic versions), here the doctor's fatalism is shown as being out of tune with the times when advances in medical understanding of tuberculosis and the establishment of specialised sanatoria were rendering it perfectly preventable and treatable (emphasised in a series of films of the subject made by Edison at this time for the in assoication with the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis). The "miracle cure" of Dr. Earle is a bit false and glib (again a rather typical crudity in Guy's deveopment of her ideas) and attracted criticism but unlike the Edison films (which were more or less public service films), this is intended more as a fable of outr time. No more Mimis. It also sows hw well Guy understood the optimistic US conviction about the value of progress and the "optional" nature of death.

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