FALLING LEAVES. 1912
Director: Alice Guy Blache
Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl
Falling Leaves In the eleven-minute silent Falling Leaves (1912), by a woman pioneer of early cinema, Dr. Headley has devised a cure for consumption, & is giving a presentation of his process to investors or fellow physicians.
A gaunt pasty-faced gent & other cured patients come forth to prove their lungs are now cleared.
That autumn, not far away from the doctor's clinic, young Winifred is very ill with the disease, cared for by her worried family.
The family doctor has given up. Looking out into the autumn garden, he says, "When the last leaf has fallen, she will die."
Falling LeavesTrixie, Winifred's baby sister, secretly plans to save her big sister's life.
She sneaks into the garden at dusk, still in her nightclothes, & with string ties leaves firmly to the branches.
This part of the tale closely resembles "The Last Leaf" by O. Henry, a key influence for the film, O Henry having been the single most widely read short story writer of the era.
Dr. Headley is strolling by & is curious about this activity. Upon hearing Trixie's explanation, he realizes his new "wonderful serum" is needed. He treats Winifred by innoculation &smp she slowly recovers, completing the simple melodrama.
This little melodrama was the work of a woman pioneer of early cinema. Alice Guy directed her first film fiction in 1896, her last in 1920. See also my review of Alice Guy's gay western Algie the Miner (1912). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewB-kFpuNBs