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.
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