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War Brides (1916)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  12 November 1916 (USA)
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Joan is loved by a young man of the village and they are married. In a few weeks the husband, a soldier, is sent to the war-front along with his three brothers. Word is received that her ... See full summary »



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Title: War Brides (1916)

War Brides (1916) on IMDb 4.6/10

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Cast overview:
Charles Hutchison ...
Charles Bryant ...
William Bailey ...
Arno (as Richard S. Barthelmess)
Nila Mac ...
Gertrude Berkeley ...
The Mother
Alex Shannon ...
The King
Robert Whitworth ...
Lt. Hoffman
Ned Burton ...
Capt. Bragg
Theodora Warfield ...
Charles Chailles ...
A Financier


Joan is loved by a young man of the village and they are married. In a few weeks the husband, a soldier, is sent to the war-front along with his three brothers. Word is received that her husband has been killed in battle and Joan's first impulse is suicide by she is pregnant and her prospective motherhood makes her realize her new responsibility. The military authorities start a movement to get the young women of the country to marry departing soldiers, so that the empire may have another generation of fighting men. Word is received that the King is to pass through their village and Joan organizes the women in a general protest against the war. She leads them all, dressed in black, in a long procession to meet the Monarch. The soldiers threaten to shoot her unless she turns the women back, buy Joan comes face-to-face with the ruler and kills herself, as her message from the women that they refuse to make another generation victims of a ruthless militarism. Written by Les Adams <

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Herbert Brenon's Overwhelming Production See more »


Drama | Romance | War






Release Date:

12 November 1916 (USA)  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Alla Nazimova. See more »


Spoofed in War Prides (1917) See more »

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User Reviews

Nazimova's First Impression
26 April 2009 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

After losing both her husband and brothers to war, Alla Nazimova (as Joan) leads women to protest against their country's king, who has ordered women to bear children for future wars. Nazimova ends it all by proclaiming, "If you will not give us women the right to vote for or against war," according a title card ending, "I shall not bear a child for such a country!"; then, she kills both herself and her unborn child. This film is, unfortunately, lost to the ages… although, hope strings eternal...

"War Brides" was based on Nazimova's successful stage play, and marked her film debut. Nazimova (like Cher and Garbo, a star recognized immediately by one name) would have made it enough to be remembered for, but "War Brides" added a bonus by presenting Richard Barthelmess (as Arno) in his first featured role. The "Diva" also insisted lover Charles Bryant and mother Gertrude Berkeley reprise their stage roles, for the film. Herbert Brenon, who'd been responsible for the recent epic "A Daughter of the Gods", was employed as director.

A search of "War Brides" and "A Play in One Act" will turn up the play's transcript; but, this film version was exceedingly more elaborate. That, and a reading of Edward Weitzel's article in the December 2, 1916 "Moving Picture World" suggest it may have been a classic. Critics applauded Nazimova's characterization, and Mr. Brenon's direction. Several of her contemporaries thought Nazimova's follow-up appearance in "Revelation" (1918) was the best female acting performance of the year.

******* War Brides (11/12/16) Herbert Brenon ~ Nazimova, Charles Bryant, Richard Barthelmess, Gertrude Berkeley

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