The Land Beyond the Sunset

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The Land Beyond the Sunset
Directed by Harold M. Shaw
Written by Dorothy G. Shore
Starring Martin Fuller
Mrs. William Bechtel
Walter Edwin
Bigelow Cooper
Distributed by Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Release dates
October 28, 1912
Running time
14 minutes @ 19 frame/s
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

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.

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).

Cast (in credits order)[edit]

  • Martin Fuller ... Joe, the Newsboy
  • Mrs. William Bechtel ... Joe's Grandmother
  • Walter Edwin ... Manager of the Fresh Air Fund
  • Ethel Jewett ... Committee Woman
  • Elizabeth Miller ... Committee Woman
  • Gladys Du Pell ... Committee Woman
  • Margery Bonney Erskine ... Committee Woman (as Mrs. Wallace Erskine)
  • Bigelow Cooper ... The Minister

Plot[edit]

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.

External links[edit]