A Flash of Light (1910)

Melodrama | 18 July 1910

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HISTORY

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “A young chemist is in love with and marries the youngest daughter of a household, unaware that the older sister loves him too. During an experiment, an explosion occurs that leaves him blinded and handicapped. His young wife abandons him for a gay social whirl, while her older sister remains at home and nurses him. Eventually an operation is performed in an effort to restore his sight, but a flash of light, too soon after the surgery, causes permanent blindness. It is then that he learns he had been attended by the older sister, rather than by his wife.”
       The 30 Jul 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “A strongly dramatic picture, yet not altogether pleasant. A love story representing a man sorely deceived, and after an accident depriving him of sight and hearing cruelly deserted by his wife. Then she is induced to come back as the bandages are removed from his partially restored eyes so he may not know the truth. The climax, when the former wife pulls down the curtain and lets in the blinding flash that destroys the partially restored sight forever, is not pleasant, and yet it adds a strong ending to the play. Acted with the ability shown by the Biograph players, this picture will be popular, even though disagreeable, because it arouses the emotions. No matter if they are depressing, the fact that the emotions are stirred is sufficient to make the film popular.”
       Interiors were filmed at the Biograph studio at 11 East 14th Street in New York City.
       An advertisement in the 23 Jul 1910 ... More Less

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “A young chemist is in love with and marries the youngest daughter of a household, unaware that the older sister loves him too. During an experiment, an explosion occurs that leaves him blinded and handicapped. His young wife abandons him for a gay social whirl, while her older sister remains at home and nurses him. Eventually an operation is performed in an effort to restore his sight, but a flash of light, too soon after the surgery, causes permanent blindness. It is then that he learns he had been attended by the older sister, rather than by his wife.”
       The 30 Jul 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “A strongly dramatic picture, yet not altogether pleasant. A love story representing a man sorely deceived, and after an accident depriving him of sight and hearing cruelly deserted by his wife. Then she is induced to come back as the bandages are removed from his partially restored eyes so he may not know the truth. The climax, when the former wife pulls down the curtain and lets in the blinding flash that destroys the partially restored sight forever, is not pleasant, and yet it adds a strong ending to the play. Acted with the ability shown by the Biograph players, this picture will be popular, even though disagreeable, because it arouses the emotions. No matter if they are depressing, the fact that the emotions are stirred is sufficient to make the film popular.”
       Interiors were filmed at the Biograph studio at 11 East 14th Street in New York City.
       An advertisement in the 23 Jul 1910 Moving Picture World headlines the film: “The Difference Between Sincere Affection and Capricious Infatuation.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BIOB2
p. 213.
BPL
pp. 128-129.
EMP
p. 107.
LCMP
p. 20, column 3.
LCPP
p. 186.
Moving Picture News
23 Jul 1910
p. 12tr, 15tl.
Moving Picture World
23 Jul 1910
p. 204tl, 204ta, 205ts, 210tl.
Moving Picture World
30 Jul 1910
p. 244tr.
NFAC3
p. 171.
Nickelodeon
15 Jul 1910
p. 47-48.
The Daily Worker
p. 85.
Treasures from the Film Archives
p. 266.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 July 1910
Copyright Claimant:
Biograph Co.
Copyright Date:
20 July 1910
Copyright Number:
J143387
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
998
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“The difference between love and infatuation is generally marked, but how often are we indifferent to the dictates of our soul. The sight of a pretty face and an attractive personality nearly always intoxicates us to such a degree as to make us believe that our impulses are induced by the heart and soul, but what a fallacy. It is by the sight that we are hypnotized and though the eyes may be the windows of the soul, still under certain influence an intercepting shade is drawn. This was the condition of John Rogers, a young chemist, who is sincerely loved by the eldest of two sisters, but in a state of infatuation prefers the younger girl, fascinated by what he would call vivacity, but which is nothing less than frivolousness. He marries her, and she soon tires of a life of domesticity. He tries to interest her in his chemical experiments but they simply bore her, although they are interesting to the sister, which interest is born of a pure love which she still holds. While he is working in his laboratory, the wife is either entertaining or being entertained by friends. She is in her element at a dinner party, when an explosion takes place in her husband’s laboratory, apparently destroying his sight and hearing. It is a sad house she returns to after her evening’s pleasure. There is her husband, deaf and sightless. You may imagine her lot is now more repugnant, as his helplessness annoys her, so she eagerly accepts diversion. This comes in the form of an offer from one of her friends, a theater manager, to shine on the comic opera stage. She ... +


“The difference between love and infatuation is generally marked, but how often are we indifferent to the dictates of our soul. The sight of a pretty face and an attractive personality nearly always intoxicates us to such a degree as to make us believe that our impulses are induced by the heart and soul, but what a fallacy. It is by the sight that we are hypnotized and though the eyes may be the windows of the soul, still under certain influence an intercepting shade is drawn. This was the condition of John Rogers, a young chemist, who is sincerely loved by the eldest of two sisters, but in a state of infatuation prefers the younger girl, fascinated by what he would call vivacity, but which is nothing less than frivolousness. He marries her, and she soon tires of a life of domesticity. He tries to interest her in his chemical experiments but they simply bore her, although they are interesting to the sister, which interest is born of a pure love which she still holds. While he is working in his laboratory, the wife is either entertaining or being entertained by friends. She is in her element at a dinner party, when an explosion takes place in her husband’s laboratory, apparently destroying his sight and hearing. It is a sad house she returns to after her evening’s pleasure. There is her husband, deaf and sightless. You may imagine her lot is now more repugnant, as his helplessness annoys her, so she eagerly accepts diversion. This comes in the form of an offer from one of her friends, a theater manager, to shine on the comic opera stage. She accepts the offer and on the persuasion of this friend decides to leave her husband and get a divorce, leaving her wedding ring on the table for her sister or father-in-law to find. The sister sees her action, and tries to dissuade her, but in vain. The thought of this second and worse blow to the young man moves the sister to wear the ring, deceiving him until his affliction has passed, for the doctor is sure of restoring his sight and hearing. This deception is easy, as he can neither see nor hear and is ever under hands of the nurse. The operation promises to be successful, so the sister goes to the green room of the theater to bring the wife back. After a heated argument the wife consents to go and see him at least, arriving just as he is placed in a darkened room to have the bandage removed. When the bandage is taken off, the young man sees in the dim light of the room the figures about him. He turns from one to the other until he sees his wife and makes a move towards her, but she with guilty mien recoils and as she does, clutches the portieres nervously. Down they come, letting in a fatal flash of light from the outside, striking the poor fellow's eyes, causing now incurable blindness. Realizing what she has done, she rushes horror-stricken from the house. The young man’s hearing unimpaired, he learns the truth and now feels in his heart what he failed to see with his eyes.”—23 Jul 1910 Moving Picture World +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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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.