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Still of The Will and the Way in Ciné-Kodak News, vol. 17 no. 4, July 1941, 5.

Date produced: 1940


Chester Glassley




200 ft





Sound Notes:



With music on disc.


Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award 1940
ACL Ten Best 1940 - General Class


"The Will and the Way is a simple story of '"little people" — but it looms large in its appeal to the human heart. There are, in its tender adventures, the laughter of sympathy and the tears of pathos. From these, as from any great expression of beauty, there comes the genuine and ennobling uplift of the spirit which is so rare in a workaday world. Chester Glassley has been equal to his task. His photography, both indoors and out, is as nearly flawless as skill and patience will permit. His camera treatment is marked by a wise concentration on close views, a dramatic selection of angles and a fine sense of matching and contrasting color values. Good cutting, paired with a brilliantly executed montage sequence, rounds out the technical achievements. But his greatest production triumph lies in the casting and direction of the two lead players, who bring to the amateur screen its most genuine and sensitive acting to date. A young wife is to have a baby. Because of a harsh experience with a rum sodden doctor, she turns blindly toward the thought of going only to a specialist, a great obstetrician, famed both for his fine care and his $1000 fees. Her young husband's reaction as he learns of this feeling is the simple theme of the entire story: "I don't know where we'll get the money, but if that's the doctor you want, then that's the doctor you're going to get!" From then on. life for the young couple is a race against time, punctuated for the husband by a frantic search for cash, which leads him through the indignities of a pie eating contest, the insults of '"amateur night" and the bruises and battering of a vastly unequal prize fight. But the baby wins in the end. The harried father collects only three hundred dollars of the specialist's fee, a sum he begs the great doctor to accept as a down payment. This the physician does, only to return the entire amount later — with a receipted bill — as his tribute to the boy's courage. The Will and the Way is a short, unassuming film, made technically with the simplest tools provided by the craft. But, in its unfailing imagination, its moving tenderness and. above all. in its deep understanding of the human heart, this film is a proud peer among its colleagues of the Hiram Percy Maxim Award." Movie Makers, Dec. 1940, 576-577.


Discussed by Glassley in "The Will and the Way" (Movie Makers, Jan. 1941, 12-14, 35-36). The filmmaker outlines how he made an "action film—an action film, mind you, centered around the birth of a baby!"

Discussed by Glassley in "The Will and the Way" (Ciné-Kodak News, vol. 17 no. 4, July 1941, 4-5, 10).

Glassley used a Ciné-Kodak Eight-60 to shoot the film (Movie Makers, Jan. 1941, 24).

The film was screened for the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1941 after Glassley corresponded with director Frank Capra, who arranged the screening (Movie Makers, Nov. 1941, 513).

The film was available in the ACL's Club Film Library.






  • Screened by the Hartford Cinema Club at its Maxim Award winner screening in 1940: Hartford, CT
  • Screened by the New York 8mm. Motion Picture Club in 1940 and 1941: New York City, N.Y.
  • Screened publicly by Glassley in Dallas in 1941: Dallas, TX
  • Screened for the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1941: Hollywood, CA
  • Screened by the Norfolk Amateur Movie Club in 1941: Norfolk, VA
  • Screened by the Metropolitan Motion Picture Club in 1941 and 1947: New York City, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Staten Island Cinema Club in 1942: Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Washington 8mm. Movie Club in 1942: Washington, D.C.
  • Screened by the Bell Laboratories Motion Picture Club in 1945: New York City, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Tacoma Amateur Movie Club in 1946: Tacoma, WA
  • Screened by the Rockford Movie Makers in 1946: Rockford, IL
  • Screened by the New York Cine Club of the Deaf in 1949: New York City, N.Y.
  • Screened by the 8mm. Club of Rochester in 1950: Rochester, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Movie Makers Club of Oklahoma City in 1953: Oklahoma City, OK
  • Screened by the Winnipeg Cine Club, September 25, 1943.: Winnipeg, Manitoba

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