The story of trench life during World War I through the lives of a French regiment. As men are killed and replaced jaunty Lt. Denet becomes more and more somber. His rival for the affection of nurse Monique is Capt. La Roche.
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Edward G. Robinson,
In 1916, somewhere in the front in France in World War I, the 5th Company in the 2nd Battalion of the 39th Regiment created by Napoleon Bonaparte and leaded by the tough Captain Paul La Roche receives among the replacements, Lieutenant Michel Denet and private Moran. When Lt. Denet meets the nurse Monique La Coste, who is Capt. La Roche's mistress but he doe not know, they fall in love for each other. When Capt. La Roche sees the old Pvt. Moran in his inspection, he identifies his father using a fake identity. Meanwhile, the 39th Regiment receives order to go to the trenches, attack the German lines and install a telephone in the front to guide the artillery. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A good anti-war drama with stars Warner Baxter and Fredric March in fine form.
The horrors of trench warfare in WWI are effectively shown in this anti-war drama, in which there were two scenes that stuck with me for hours afterwards. In one, the mournful wails and moans of an injured soldier stuck on barbed wire 100 feet from the trench had dead would-be rescuers strewn about him. The enemy snipers purposely let him live to tempt his fellow soldiers to a rescue so they could kill them. In the other scene, soldiers in a bunker hear the enemy below them and realize they are digging into the area to place explosives to blow it up, and this sets off a panic. Director Howard Hawks paces the film well and has exceptionally good action scenes. There's also a love triangle between Capt. Warner Baxter and his subordinate, Lt. Fredric March (both excellent in their roles) for lovely June Lang, which was an essential part of the plot. I enjoyed the humor provided by Gregory Ratoff and seeing Lionel Barrymore in one of his last films he made without a wheelchair.
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