A young French soldier in World War I is overcome with guilt when he kills a German soldier who, like himself, is a musically gifted conscript, each having attended the same musical ... See full summary »
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A young French soldier in World War I is overcome with guilt when he kills a German soldier who, like himself, is a musically gifted conscript, each having attended the same musical conservatory in France. The fact that the incident occurred in war does not assuage his guilt. He travels to Germany to meet the man's family. Written by
Steve Owen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Broken Lullaby is a story in the vein of All Quiet on the Western Front. Paul Renaud (Phillips Holmes) is a soldier for France during WWI. He does his duty and kills an enemy, but the ordeal scars him painfully. He becomes obsessed with his victim, discovers his name is Walter Holderlin, and even goes to Walter's hometown to visit with his family. He intends to tell them of his crime, to apologize and explain himself. However, when he goes to their home and meets with his father (Lionel Barrymore), he finds he cannot go through with it. He decieves them into thinking he was friends with Walter, and that he came to offer himself as a replacement for their son. In a way, he does take over Walters life, and even falls in love with his fiancée (Nancy Carroll).
A highly sophisticated but atypical Lubitsch film, Broken Lullaby has many memorable scenes and great photographic elements. The camera is hardly static, even for such an early talking picture. The major flaw with it is Holmes' acting style. While the others are more subdued and natural, his stagy performance is a bit offputting.
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