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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
André Hugon made the first French talkie in 1929,"Les Trois Masques".A
writer ,the screenplay of " Le Heros De La Marne" was based on his own
Released in 1938,as a propaganda work,it shows WW1 in a way diametrically opposite to Raymond Bernard 's " Les Croix De Bois" and Abel Gance's "J'Accuse" .The horrors of WW1,the hell in the trenches are passed over in silence ;there are long scenes in the staff headquarters instead.
As for the story,it is a melodrama,to make you cry your eyes out:it begins like many Pagnol movies in which a girl got pregnant and the boy's dad does not want to hear about it ;both of them (the lovers) become heroes (hence the title) during the war ,the woman in a thoroughly implausible way:you should see her cross the lines of defense or implore the vicar's help.
Raimu portrays the ruthless dad ,who finally enlists and goes blind ."God punished me"he said.He was too blind to see that his son's love for Helene was true ;if it were not enough,the scene in the Church where the priest praises the heroic fighter pilot proves him definitely that the lovers did not live in sin.
For Raimu's completists.
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