The Light That Failed (1939)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan

Based on a classic tale from Rudyard Kipling, this melodrama chronicles the desperate attempt of a painter to finish his greatest painting before he goes blind. His affliction is due to a war wound and his final project is to paint a portrait of London's most notorious prostitute. Trouble begins when the hooker falls deeply in love with the artist. Unfortunately, social mores forbid their union and this frustrates the wanton woman. Meanwhile, the artist feverishly continues to paint her. The result is exquisite. Unfortunately, by this time, the whore can no longer contain her frustrated rage, and unbeknownst to the painter whose sight is nearly gone, viciously slashes it. Later the artist takes his prized work and shows it to his best friend, a military officer, in a heartbreaking scene. Afterward the two colleagues head down to fight in the Sudan. There, the devastated painter begs the officer to allow him to participate in one final, glorious charge atop a shining white stallion.



artist, blindness [physical], painting, portrait, prostitute/prostitution, wound [injury]


High Budget, High Production Values