The Love Light

Decades/0423/031Part 2 of the 3 part series on women in war film

Filmed in 1921, The Love Light was ostensibly a vehicle for Mary Pickford to do what she did best – that is to say playing a sweet, beguiling heroine who ends up in tragic circumstances. This film isn’t one of her finest. It was filmed and released at a time in which audiences had had enough of hearing about the war and were clamoring for something lighter and more fun filled. In a complicated and convoluted plot – Pickford’s character, Angela is left to run a lighthouse in a small Italian village, whilst her brothers and her friend Giovanni are away fighting.

She finds a young soldier washed up on the shore one evening, takes him in and nurses him back to health. The two fall in love, though it eventually turns out he is actually a German spy and has put her and the other villagers in great danger. He is captured and loses his life. Angela is pregnant with his child and has to go to a convent to give birth. She goes mad from grief and a woman she meets there steals her new born baby and escapes with it.

In the meantime, Angela’s friend Giovanni has returned home from the war blinded and Angela, now released from the convent but still in mourning looks after him. Without the aid of any modern medical knowledge she cares for him and helps him to ‘see’ by utilising his other remaining senses. The end of the film sees Angela being reunited with her lost infant and her marriage to Giovanni who she realises she has loved all along. You can watch the film in its entirety here.



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