The National Library of Medicine (NLM) today announced the digital release of The Reward of Courage, a 1921 silent film long believed to have been lost.
Produced by the American Society for the Control of Cancer (the ASCC, later renamed the American Cancer Society), and funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, The Reward of Courage is a melodrama in the grand silent-era tradition. The film pits charlatans who promise cures through the use of quack salves and pastes against the forces of scientific medicine and the U.S. postal authorities, who crack down on such fraudulent and dangerous claims.
Discovered in the film collections of the Library of Congress, The Reward of Courage was meticulously restored through cooperation between the NLM and the Library of Congress, transferred from its unstable nitrate base, and augmented with a musical soundtrack for the film, following the traditional silent-film practice of screening films with live musical accompaniment.
Today, the NLM announced the digital release of both the original, silent version of The Reward of Courage and the newly-scored version, on the NLM’s Medical Movies on the Web, a curated portal featuring selected motion pictures from the NLM’s world-renowned collection of over 30,000 audiovisual titles.
All of the motion pictures featured on Medical Movies on the Web, and others from the NLM’s audiovisual collection, are also available through the NLM’s YouTube site and through its Digital Collections.