6 user 3 critic

The Road Back (1937)

Approved | | Drama | 1 June 1937 (USA)
After World War I, a group of former German soldiers try to adjust to civilian life.



(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An Austrian prince flees his homeland when the Nazis take over and settles in London. While in London, he meets a beautiful Austrian émigré who makes him realize his mistake in leaving ... See full summary »

Directors: James Whale, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: George Brent, Martha Scott, Paul Lukas
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a night of wild partying at a friend's house, a couple wake up to discover the party's host has been murdered in his bed. A detective is called in to investigate, but his ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Edward Arnold, Robert Young, Constance Cummings
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Madge Evans, John Boles, Bruce Cabot
Green Hell (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young lady leaves her brutal husband and meets another man aboard a ship.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Colin Clive, Frank Lawton
Journey's End (1930)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In France, 1917, an alcoholic captain is afraid that his new replacement, his sweetheart's brother, will betray his downfall.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Ian Maclaren, David Manners
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A prosecutor trying a case where a husband shot his adulterous wife begins to suspect that his own wife is having an affair, and starts to have his own thoughts about killing her.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Warren William, Gail Patrick, Constance Moore
Show Boat (1936)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Despite her mother's objections, the naive young daughter of a show boat captain is thrust into the limelight as the company's new leading lady.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Nancy Carroll, Frank Morgan, Paul Lukas
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Great Garrick (Brian Aherne) is the most celebrated London theater actor of his day (eighteenth century) and is invited to Paris to star at the Comedie Francaise, the most important ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Brian Aherne, Olivia de Havilland, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despotic King Louis XIV discovers he has a twin brother who has grown up under the tutelage of his foster father, the patriotic musketeer D'Artagnan.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Warren William
Soy Nero (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Nero, a deported Mexican, returns illegally to the U.S in search of his identity. He joins the U.S army as a Green card soldier, a shortcut to citizenship. Lost in a maze, Nero fights to obtain his nationality.

Director: Rafi Pitts
Stars: Rory Cochrane, Khleo Thomas, Michael Harney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernst (as John King)
Maurice Murphy ...
Captain Von Hagen
Henry Hunter ...
Ernst's Mother
Ernst's Father
Marilyn Harris ...
Maria - Ernst's Sister
Jean Rouverol ...


At the end of the world war, several German soldiers return home to their city to find the social fabric and civil order disintegrating as communist gangs roam the streets and food and jobs become scarce. Riots and massacres lead the erstwhile average men to become cynical and desperate. Written by WesternOne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Road Back  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some publicity material erroneously states that Greta Gynt is in this film. See more »


Referenced in She's Alive! Creating the Bride of Frankenstein (1999) See more »


Mademoiselle from Armentieres
(1919) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Tunbridge
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Was supposed to be Whale's masterpiece.
3 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

In the film Gods and Monsters, Ian McKellen wonderfully plays Whale recalling his hatred of making this film, the film Whale intended to be the crowning achievement of his career.

The first world war was still close to Whale as he made this film nearly 20 years after it ended. Whale intended the film end with a more sarcastic touch of showing the Nazis as war mongers, warping the minds of youths, but the final cut of this film was taken out of his hands.

The Road Back has some signature Whale touches. Yes, the camera dollies through a wall from outside on a street to the inside of a building, following a character entering it. Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, Lionel Atwill and a few other Whale favorites play minor characters with character. He had his usual crew of Ted Kent editing, John Mescall shooting, John Fulton with special effects and the great Charles D. Hall as set designer. You would expect a horror film with all these names. Yet the film does not stand up next to his horror films, nor to Show Boat, Kiss Before the Mirror or Waterloo Bridge. It is a notch below.

It's hard to tell how much of it has to do with the editing. There were also completely unnecessary comedy scenes that did not belong that I understand were re-shot by the orders of studio head Charles D. Rogers, a man who clearly knew nothing of the studio he had taken over from the Laemmles.

Even if Whale had final cut, this film seems like its' story somewhat misses the mark. It works and is an admirable picture, but it seems to lack the scope that would have given it more power. The characters talk about how the war changes them, but we are shown very little of HOW they changed. They seem unhappy, but there is no real emotion. They too often seem like mouthpieces for Whale's beliefs and not like real people. It would have been a better film if it expanded on the souls of the characters and been a half hour longer or so. It probably would have actually moved faster than it does. We go from the war to the classroom to the bars and to the courtroom and it just seems to want to become an epic, but it can't.

Still, this film is worth watching, especially for Whale fans who want to see his last solid, good film. He was never again to be as creative or interested in his stories.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Any Videos or Dvd Available? parkerr86302
"Long" Cut Showing in MOMA NYC plushing-417-732925
Discuss The Road Back (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: