U.S. Marine sergeants Quirt and Flagg are inveterate romantic rivals on peacetime assignments in China and the Philippines. In 1917, W.W. I brings them to France, where Flagg, now a captain... See full summary »
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U.S. Marine sergeants Quirt and Flagg are inveterate romantic rivals on peacetime assignments in China and the Philippines. In 1917, W.W. I brings them to France, where Flagg, now a captain, takes up with flirtatious Charmaine, inn-keeper's daughter. Of course, Quirt has to arrive and spoil his fun. But the harsh realities of war and the threat of a shotgun marriage give the two men a common cause... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fox's answer to MGM's "The Big Parade," and I think it's a markedly superior movie, thanks to better pacing and the rousing direction of Raoul Walsh. He's in his element here: a big war movie with loads of comedy and romance, and three strong personalities at its center. McLaglen was born for this sort of stuff; Lowe wasn't, but he's a very convincing roistering-randy soldier. And Del Rio is so beautiful you don't much care what she does. The horrors of war are amply displayed, and the Hollywood hills doubling for the French countryside work just fine. But what made it such a hit, I guess, was the utterly winning frenemy relationship of Quirt and Flagg. They fight for dames, they hurl insults back and forth, they curse each other with all-too-lip-readable epithets, but you never doubt their loyalty and respect for each other. Maybe there's one skirmish too many--it gets a little repetitive-- but it's much faster-moving than "The Big Parade," and the soldier stereotypes commented on elsewhere don't hurt so much. Also, Leslie Fenton is excellent.
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