After a short split prologue showing riches as the root of evil in ancient and modern times, the film settles into 1914 France, where the Orient Express is about to be wrecked when a bridge washes out. Among those on board are Al and Travis, Americans who are traveling Europe spending Travis' money, and Marie, a German girl. The boys save Marie after the wreck and Travis falls in love with her. When World War I breaks out Al wants to enlist, but Travis can't, feeling loyal to Marie, a German. By 1917 Al has enlisted, and Travis follows him shortly after marrying Marie. Accused of being a German spy by a Russian agent, she is sentenced to die but is recognized by Travis, who is part of the firing squad. The town they are in is shelled and they are all trapped underground, during which a minister makes a lengthy parallel to ancient times when the King of Akkad persecuted his subjects and defied Jehovah, who finally sends a flood to wipe out mankind, except for Noah and his family, whom ... Written by
Ron Kerrigan <,email@example.com>
The "premiere" version, running 135 minutes, ran only at the opening engagement in Hollywood. By the time of the New York premiere some weeks later, the film had been trimmed by over 30 minutes. At least some of the cuts were of Vitaphone talking sequences that didn't work well. In particular, Paul McAllister (Noah/Minister) fared poorly, as all his talking scenes were removed. See more »
This war is more than just a fight. It's more like a funeral. And everybody ought to be in the procession or the hearse.
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One year before Jean Harlow caught the eyes of two war-embittered soldiers in "Hell's Angels" (1930), this gigantic, vivacious, masterfully scored drama hit theaters. It was the most expensive film of the early sound era up to that time. Thanks to TCM and numerous film archives who pitched in for the restoration, we are now able to treasure it further for future generations to behold. Mike Curtiz was a tyranical perfectionist and put everything he had into this picture as he did with every such as "Casablanca" (1942), "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938), "Mystery of The Wax Museum" (1933), etc. There is always
something big in his pictures, whether it cost $2 or $2,000,000 to produce, his imaginative genius and careful observation make his end results all the more astonishing. One of the even greater things about this picture is it's score. God bless Louis Silvers for writing it. Silvers also conducted the same Vitaphone orchestra that scored "The Jazz Singer" (1927) which also sported some pretty awesome tunes. The love theme is definitely one to behold. The cast is very nicely cast. George O'Brien makes a nice talkie transition with his suave and cunning voice that makes him sound 5 years younger. Noah Beery's voice was even better; deep, deceptive, conniving. Dolores Costello?
She's alright, nothing eye-candyish about her but, she's alright. Altogether, this picture is one that I believe needs more frequent distribution because of how important it was in it's time as a form of entertainment, but now for a play in modern-day morality. A must for everyone!
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