The Land Beyond the Sunset
The Land Beyond the Sunset is a 1912 short, silent drama film which tells the story of a young boy, oppressed by his grandmother, who goes on an outing in the country with a social welfare group. It stars Martin Fuller, Mrs. William Bechtel, Walter Edwin and Bigelow Cooper. The movie was written by Dorothy G. Shore and directed by Harold M. Shaw. The film was made in collaboration with the Fresh Air Fund.
|The Land Beyond the Sunset|
|Directed by||Harold M. Shaw|
|Written by||Dorothy G. Shore|
Mrs. William Bechtel
|Distributed by||Thomas A. Edison, Inc.|
|October 28, 1912|
|14 minutes @ 19 frame/s|
In 2000, The Land Beyond the Sunset was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is included on the DVD Treasures from American Film Archives (2000).
Joe is an impoverished New York newsboy who lives with his abusive grandmother. While selling papers, he is given a ticket for a children's excursion sponsored by the Fresh Air Fund.
The next morning, Joe sneaks out of his tenement home to join the excursion, where he sees the countryside and the ocean for the first time. After a picnic, an adult volunteer reads the children a story about a young prince who is beaten by an old witch. A group of fairies rescue the boy, take him to a boat, and sail off for "the Land Beyond the Sunset, where he lived happily ever after." Joe imagines himself as the boy in the story.
When the group returns to the city, Joe stays behind because he is afraid of his grandmother. He wanders to the beach, where he finds a rowboat and decides to go to the Land Beyond the Sunset himself. He pushes the boat into the water and climbs in. The film ends with a long shot of Joe drifting out to sea.
Cast (in credits order)
- Martin Fuller as Joe, the Newsboy
- Mrs. William Bechtel as Joe's Grandmother
- Walter Edwin as Manager of the Fresh Air Fund
- Ethel Jewett as Committee Woman
- Elizabeth Miller as Committee Woman
- Gladys Du Pell as Committee Woman
- Margery Bonney Erskine as Committee Woman (as Mrs. Wallace Erskine)
- Bigelow Cooper as The Minister
The film was shot in studio at the Edison Company's plant at Decatur Avenue and Oliver Place in the Bronx, as well as on location in a Bronx-area park that afforded a view of Long Island Sound.