The Legend of the Lighthouse (1909)


Original Title: La légende des phares
Type: Short
Genre: Short, Drama
Release Date: Aug 1909 (France)
Is Adult: No
Language: 
None, French
Rated: n/A
Director: 
Louis Feuillade
Stars: 
Renée Carl, Christiane Mandelys, Alice Tissot  »




Description

The first scene represents the beach of the Gulf of Death in the early morning after a fearful tempest, which has wrecked a vessel and thrown the cargo and many bodies upon the sands. Moving about among them is shown a ghoul in the person...




Plot

The first scene represents the beach of the Gulf of Death in the early morning after a fearful tempest, which has wrecked a vessel and thrown the cargo and many bodies upon the sands. Moving about among them is shown a ghoul in the person of an old woman, who searches the pockets of the dead, strips the rings from their fingers and the jewelry from their clothing. This booty she carefully conceals in her dress and makes her way up the steep cliffs to her home, an artistic little place in the midst of a beautiful garden. Once within the little building she spreads her ill-gotten gains upon the table, while she secures from her closet a bag of similar wealth which she has obtained from other wrecks. While she is gloating over the jewels, her son, a sturdy and clean-cut young fisherman, enters the room. At first he does not quite understand this suddenly acquired treasure, but after a moment's consideration he knows from whence it came. He remonstrates with his mother, telling her that if she persists in her horrible way of gaining gold the fates will punish her. In the next scene we are shown the streets of the village while the town crier reads this edict from the royal palace: "By order of the King, a signal light will be placed on a cross at the Cape of Death and trusted to the inhabitants' care. They must watch the light and never let it go out." Again, a few days later, we are taken to the home of the miserly old lady as she bids her son farewell when he starts upon a fishing trip. In strange contrast to her depraved love of gold is her great love of her boy, for she exhibits all the tenderness of more womanly mothers. Next, on the evening of the same day, we are taken to the Cape of Death, which juts out into the stormy sea, a dreary and beautiful view. The farthermost and highest point is surmounted by a huge wooden cross on which a primitive lamp is swung to mark by its light the dangerous portion of the rocky coast. A storm is arising; as the clouds lower, darkening the waters and the cliffs, the old woman is seen making her way against the heavy gale, out along the cliffs to the light. Here she waits for a time in hopes that some of the passing boats will be wrecked and the waves will bring ashore more wreckage from which she can add to the store of somber belongings. But the light does its work faithfully. The ships pass in safety. Soon the demon of greed so gains control of her mind that with her staff she shatters the lamp, and makes her way from the scene to await the certain spoils which the water will bring to the shore by the morning. Then comes the morning, and we find the wrecker searching along the beach, following her old habit of robbing the bodies. Now, as if in direct answer to her son's warning, comes retribution to her awful wickedness, for among the salvage on the shore she finds the body of her only real treasure, her boy. She calls the people of the village, who carry the young man to the cottage, where the mother is overcome with pain and remorse. She is so impressed with the great evil that she hastens with a lantern to the old location of the light, where her body disappears and she is transformed into a lighthouse, where until this day she may be seen. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis





Details (General)

  • AKA (Also Known As)

    The Legend of the Lighthouse (United States)

  • Company

    Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont

  • Country

    France





  • Details (Technical)

  • Aspect Ratio

    1.33 : 1

  • Color

    Black and White

  • Sound Mix

    Silent