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Laura is a nurse at the Front in World War I. She meets and falls for a young flyer named Geoffrey. On his first mission, Geoffrey is shot down and taken to the hospital where Laura works. Within days he succumbes to his injuries. Faced with the fact that she is with Geoffrey's child, she accepts the proposal of Ed Seward who still wants to marry her. Laura vowes that her new son will never fight in a war again. Jumping ahead it is 1940 and Robert, who is Geoffrey's son, meets Peggy Chase on a Ship steaming across the Atlantic. Ed Seward, who is now the Secretary of State, has adverted War by drafting a peace treaty with a belligerent country called Eurasia. However, before the treaty can be signed, Eurasia has the envoy assassinated and both sides escalate. At home, Laura campaigns for Peace, Ed stands with the country and will fight and Robert declares that he will not fight. In doing so, Robert loses Peggy and sees his family break apart. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although produced in 1933, the bulk of the film takes place in 1940; events depicting the start of World War II are, of course, fictional and strictly futuristic, but nonetheless on target as far as the date is concerned. See more »
Oh, the peace meeting.
Yes, if you want to have trouble, Steve, talk about peace. Always ends up in a fight.
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Lewis Stone, Diana Wynyard, Robert Young, and Phillips Holmes star in "Men Must Fight," a 1933 film. The movie starts with a young nurse, Laura (Wynyard) and her lover (Young) as he prepares to go off to World War I. He's killed; she's pregnant, and a rejected suitor, Ned Seward (Stone) offers to marry her and give the child his name. Laura vows that no son of hers will ever fight in a war.
Flash forward to 1940, and Seward is now Secretary of State, working on a peace treaty, with Laura's help. Their son Robert (Holmes) is a talented chemist and in love with Peggy (Ruth Selwyn). Unfortunately, the peace treaty fails, and the country is going to war with "Eurasia." Seward advises Laura that she will have to stop her peace-making attempts and objections to war, but she refuses. Having raised her son as a pacificist, Robert refuses to enlist, to the disgust of Peggy.
The film was made in 1933, but obviously the signs of conflict were already in the air; if one looks carefully at an anti-war rally that takes place in the film, one will see the Japanese sun and the Nazi swastika. Pretty amazing.
The acting by today's standards, with the exception of Stone, is quite melodramatic, as is the dialogue. The handsome Holmes, who himself died right after flight training in Canada, is good as the conflicted Robert. Diana Wynyard, too, is very good, but both actors have very over the top dialogue to say.
Very, very interesting film, and well worth seeing, with some excellent battle scenes.
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