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. ...
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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 »
A strange combination of political foresight, a moral philosophy debate and unchecked patriotic jingoism. This isn't a great dramatic film for a lot of reasons but is a great thought provoker. This film should be viewed in high schools and colleges precisely because it takes both side of the issue so strongly. For example, while the script blames the mother for making her son into a pacifist and goes about celebrating the men who go to a certain death defending their country, it lets the pacifist grandmother have the final word in the movie.
The foresight about Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan's war plans is very chilling. It's also interesting that this was around the start of the US pacifist movement that some say was partially financed by Nazi Germany to keep the US out of their way.
While the film is done in that creaky early thirties acting style, the script gives the characters quite a bit of nuance. By the end you can't tell what side the filmmakers were on. Almost all of the intelligent quotes come out of the pacifists but the US is attacked and thousands die because of them. The anti-pacifists frequently come off as very violent and crude. Triumphant military music plays when the troops march out and fly off.
This film should be seen with the more entertaining but similar "Things To Come"
Some technical notes: the sound is very bad at points during the last ten minutes on the TCM print which I assume came from the MGM vault. The destruction of the Empire State Building, which is very disturbing to look at these days, was ridiculous. It would have taken much more then the one dinky bomb that came off the enemy bi-plane.
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