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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 <email@example.com>
"The Light That Failed" is among Ronald Colman's best films....though I must warn you that it's also among his most depressing. The story is based on Rudyard Kipling's first full- length novel of the same name.
The story begins with two children playing with a gun. There's an accident and Maisie discharges the gun near Dick's eyes. This is foreshadowing what you next see in the film. Dick is a man now and fighting for the British army in Sudan. During an encounter with the enemy, he receives a sword slash across the eyes. He recovers his sight but doesn't realize that severe damage to his optic nerves has occurred and one day he'll go blind. In the meantime, the war ends and Dick spends his time painting and drawing while he tours the Middle East. When he learns that the public back in Britain love his work, he returns. His work is good but when Dick realizes he's going blind he wants to get one final masterpiece completed. The problem is his model, Bessie (Ida Lupino) is a coarse and awful woman...why is something you'll just have to see for yourself as well as how Dick deals with his eventual blindness.
The acting is superb in this one...especially Colman. It also helped that he had Lupino and Walter Huston on hand to provide support. Overall, a quality film in every way. My only caveat is that if you dislike sad, depressing stories you might want to skip this one....though I sure wouldn't!
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