7.8/10
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16 user 18 critic

Wooden Crosses (1932)

Les croix de bois (original title)
The young and patriotic student Demachy joins the French army in 1914 to defend his country. But he and his comrades soon experience the terrifying, endless trench war in Champagne, where ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Adjudant Gilbert Demachy
Gabriel Gabrio ...
Sulphart
...
Caporal Breval
Raymond Aimos ...
Soldat Fouillard (as Aimos)
...
Soldat Vieublé (as Artaud A.)
Paul Azaïs ...
Soldat Broucke
René Bergeron ...
Soldat Hamel (as Bergeron)
...
Soldat Vairon (as R. Cordy)
Marcel Delaître ...
Sergent Berthier (as Delaitre)
...
Capitaine Cruchet (as Galland)
Pierre Labry ...
Soldat Bouffioux, le cuistot (as Labry Pierre)
Geo Laby ...
Soldat Belin (as Laby Géo)
René Montis ...
Lieutenant Morache (as Montis)
Jean-François Martial ...
Soldat Lemoine (as J.F. Martial)
Marc Valbel ...
Maroux (as Valbel)
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Storyline

The young and patriotic student Demachy joins the French army in 1914 to defend his country. But he and his comrades soon experience the terrifying, endless trench war in Champagne, where more and more wooden crosses have to be erected for this cannon fodder. Written by fa404748 (Gent, Belgium)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

17 March 1932 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hölzerne Kreuze  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as The Road to Glory (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
The Best French film ever made about any war.
29 July 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

One reviewer accuses "Les Croix de Bois" of not giving any reason/explanation/philosophical whatever for the Great War.

He terribly missed the point.

"Les Croix de Bois" is adapted from one of the most famous French novel written about WWI. Roland Dorgeles was a veteran and his main purpose was to talk about his own experience and not "to make a point" against war.

The movie is just about that. Recrating an experience. A terrible one.

Raymond Bernard was himself a veteran and it shows. The depiction of the life in the trenches is vivid. We feel under our skin the misery of the soldiers, their small moment of joy and their fear in front of something to big to be comprehended. You do not think of philosophy when machine guns are screaming at you.

Raymond Bernard employed a lot of actors and crew members who actually were in the trenches and he managed to show war on a daily basis from the smallest event to the major assaults. The 10 minutes battle in the middle of the film is so realistic that it looks like a war documentary. In the early thirties the former battle sites were not just memories. The scars were still there. Waiting for the next ones.

The acting is a bit dated, particularly Pierre Blanchar who has a tendency to overplay and is far too old for the role. But he fought too during the war and his fixed eyes are the result of a gas attack.

This movie is to be put alongside "Battleground" or "A Walk in the Sun". The Zero Level of War. Just Men alone and scarred. No reasons, no explanations, and certainly no Philisophy.


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