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    Let There Be Light

    Poster of the movie Let There Be Light

    Let There Be Light (1946)

    Run time0h58m
    GenreWar documentary
    Directed byJohn Huston
    Written byJohn Huston
    Available on


    In 1945, the U.S. military was concerned that prejudice was hindering the reintegration into the work force of soldiers who returned from the war suffering from mental illness. They instructed prominent Hollywood director John Huston, then serving in the Army's Signal Corps Film Unit, to make a film combating this problem. Huston spent three months in 1946 at Mason General Hospital in New Jersey documenting absurdly effective treatment: psychologically-derived paralysis is cured, depression lifted, and shell-shock calmed by interventions such as group discussion, hypnosis, occupational therapy - and baseball. However, fearful of the perception that war service leads to mental distress, the military elected to suppress the film. It was finally screened at Cannes in 1981, after a public campaign by Huston and the American film community.


    Walter Huston

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