AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
The Light
Director: J. Gordon Edwards (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Jan 1919
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Theda Bara (Blanchette Dumonde)  
    Eugene Ormonde (Chabin)  
    Robert Walker (Etienne Desechette)  
    George Renevant (Auchat)  
    Florence Martin (Jeanette)  

Summary: Blanchette Dumonde is known as "the wickedest woman in Paris" because she cavorts with her wealthy lover Chabin rather than join in the war effort. When she meets sculptor Etienne Desechette, he requests that she pose for him because he is haunted by the great soul that he sees hidden in her face. Although Chabin angrily refuses for her, Blanchette, moved by Etienne's words, attempts to become a nurse, but is rebuked by a hospital authority. Furious, she goes with Chabin to an Apache club, where she flirts with Auchat, the roughest of the dancers, and takes him home when the den is raided. After Chabin finds them and fights Auchat, Blanchette sees Etienne returning from the war, blind. She takes him to a country cottage where she nurses him and poses as he sculpts her image by touch. When Auchat comes to kill Etienne, Blanchette kills Auchat. Chabin arrives and, seeing Blanchette's happiness, tells the police that he killed Auchat, who was attempting to rob the house. 

Production Company: Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Fox Film Corp.  
Director: J. Gordon Edwards (Dir)
Writer: Adrian Johnson (Scen)
  Charles Kenyon (Scen)
  Luther Reed (Story)
  Brett Page (Story)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
William Fox 12/1/1919 dd/mm/yyyy LP13280

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Drama
Subjects (Major): Blindness
  Nursing back to health
Subjects (Minor): Apache dancers
  City-country contrast
  Paris (France)
  Police raids
  World War I

Note: Some scenes of the film were shot in New Orleans. The copyright records and one review ( NYMT ) credit Luther Reed as one of the authors, while press material for the film and other reviews credit Arthur Reed. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   25 Jan 19   p. 651.
MPN   25 Jan 19   p. 601.
MPW   25 Jan 19   p. 526.
MPW   24 Jan 19   p. 46.
Variety   24 Jan 19   p. 46.
Wid's   12 Jan 19   p. 13.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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