After serving in the trenches of World War I, Jean Diaz recoils with such horror that he renounces love and personal pleasure to immerse himself in scientific research, seeking a machine to... See full summary »
After serving in the trenches of World War I, Jean Diaz recoils with such horror that he renounces love and personal pleasure to immerse himself in scientific research, seeking a machine to prevent war. He thinks he has succeeded, but the government subverts his discovery, and Europe slides with seeming inevitability toward World War II. In desperation, Diaz summons the ghosts of the war dead from the graves and fields of France to give silent, accusing protest. Written by
A plea from beyond the graves of 53,000.000 who died in WWI, this movie eloquently watches 12 men as they prepare for what they know will the last patrol of their life. 120 men have already gone to their deaths in their 3 years at Verdun, on the same patrol. As two men argue over their love for one's wife, the husband is suddenly bound to forgive the other and makes him pledge to mail letters to the other's wife should he die, at 2 week intervals to keep her thinking of him alive.
A few subplots involving a chanteuse who has all the men singing while the bombs explode around them in a town that is wiped out by the barrage. The scene in which the dead answer the call of the scientist who has worked for 20 years to bring back his friends and others has been often copied in far lesser films since.
The dialogue in this movie is of great impact, made more so by the fact that my son has just returned from the slaughter in Iraq. A eye for an eye makes everyone blind, and no movie makes the point as well as this one. The death scene may deliberately be set up to make you think of Jean D'Arc, but it just reminded me of how mindless the masses are, no matter of what nationality. The brainwashed American public is a case in point. Oh, for a decent educational system. Maybe we should give up and just show movies like this one, 'Paths of Glory', 'Attack' and 'Deerhunter' all day. Whoever puts up statues to military, writes military marches and glorifies marching off to war should have to tell all the widows their loved one has died for nothing, only repeats of death---be it through war or 9/11s.
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