This was re-released in 1939 with a new introduction by Mitchell Leichter commenting upon America's involvement in the then imminent forthcoming World War; it was edited down to just a little more than half of its original length, eliminating most of the silent sequences that involved dialogue, and thereby the need for inter-titles, but also most of the original story structure, so that what's left is more or less incomprehensible. The only real dialogue that's heard is in and around a couple songs by Alma Rubens. Sadly, this is the only version that seems to have survived today, at least within the reaches of public availability. See more »
Henry King paralleled one of those directors like Robert Z. Leonard and Wesley Rugles who had the misfortune of doing their best work in the early sound period when the film making conventions and technique limited its impact in later viewings.
This film is a remarkable pacifist statement, even though offering valiant Doughboys battling menacing Huns, their eyes hidden in steel helmets. The battlefront image making is exceptional.
The story is far fetched, offering strikingly filmed Boardman (from THE CROWD) following Burns, her drunken fiancé, into the front line and, disguised as a soldier, experiencing the horrors of combat first hand. While we know the set piece is as preposterous the depiction of a bombing raid in King's YANK IN THE RAF it is still strong stuff with the sweating troops trapped inside the tank engulfed in a flame barrier, losing their nerve and facing incineration.
The surviving copy of this part talkie has been severely reduced to feature the sound material.
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