Falling Leaves (1912)    0 Stars


Falling Leaves (1912)
Falling Leaves (1912)

Director: Alice Guy

Cast: Mace Greenleaf, Blanche Cornwall, Marian Swayne

Synopsis: A young girl attempts to save the life of her terminally ill sister.






The title of this little movie from pioneering female filmmaker Alice Guy equates to a death sentence for an unlucky young woman suffering from consumption (or tuberculosis as it’s now known). The prognosis from her doctor to the mother (Blanche Cornwall) is that poor Winifred (Marian Swayne – The Little American) will have passed away “before the last leaf falls,” a statement which Winifred’s little sister, Trixie (Magda Foy) overhears and misunderstands. So literally does Trixie take the doctors proclamation that one evening she steals out of the house and starts tying the leaves that have fallen from the tree in the garden back to its branches…

If that synopsis sounds a little cloying, then Falling Leaves really isn’t the film for you. Guy seems determined to outdo Griffith when it comes to sentimentality here which, coupled with the level of realism you’d expect from a 1912 movie, makes for a somewhat unhealthily sweet mix. Winifred’s terminal illness manifests itself in the occasional coughing fit, and little Magda Foy wanders around the set as if she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be doing much of the time. Watch it at your peril – particularly if you’re a diabetic.

(Reviewed 16th April 2015)

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