The Light That Failed (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Light That Failed (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Light That Failed Photos

Movie Info

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.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Ronald Colman
as Dick Heldar
Ida Lupino
as Bessie Broke
Walter Huston
as Terpenhow
Dudley Digges
as The Nilghai
Ferike Boros
as Mme. Binat
Pedro de Cordoba
as M. Binat
Colin Tapley
as Gardner
Fay Helm
as Red-Haired Girl
Ronald Sinclair
as Dick as a boy
Sarita Wooten
as Maisie as a Girl
Colin Kenny
as Doctor
Charles Irwin
as Soldier Model
George Regas
as Cassavetti
Clyde Cook
as Soldier
Jimmy Aubrey
as Soldier
Connie Leon
as Flower woman
Harry Cording
as Soldier
Cyril Ring
as War Correspondent
Barbara Denny
as Waitress
Pat O'Malley
as Bullock
Clara Blore
as Mother
Leslie Francis
as Man with Bandaged Eyes
Sam Harris
as Wells
Barry Downing
as Little boy
Harold Entwistle
as Old man with dark glasses
Joe Collings
as Thackery
Carl Voss
as Chops, the Officer
Hayden Stevenson
as War Correspondent
Gerald Rogers
as Sick man
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Critic Reviews for The Light That Failed

All Critics (1)

It is unevenly told, but Ida Lupino, as the girl who destroys her own portrait, makes the picture worth seeing.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
The Nation

Audience Reviews for The Light That Failed


A bit stodgy with Colman surprisingly a bit off in the lead but the supporting performances of Walter Huston and especially Ida Lupino make it worth seeing. Ida steals the picture handily.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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