A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.
With the onset of World War II, Frenchmen from all walks of life enlist in the army. The war is short-lived however as the Nazis quickly defeat them and Marshall Petain signs a peace agreement with the invaders. The troops surrender but rather that being repatriated to their homes as expected, they all find themselves in a military prison. Conditions are difficult with little food and poor medical conditions. The men resist as best they can and for some, like Paul, they are prepared to spend time in solitary confinement and be subjected to beatings if need be. For others, such as Duval, collaboration with their Nazi jailers is the route to an easier life. The men find solace in the company of Father Sebastian, a priest who was also in the army. He counsels them wisely and in the case of Paul, gives him strength to face the daily challenge of simply living. When Paul gets an opportunity however, he helps his fellow prisoners escape. When they liberate a village, they all realize that ... Written by
You hear "la Marseillaise " during the cast and credits ;you hear "La Marseillaise" during the whole movie;then again as the finale;Rouget De Lisle should thus be credited for the soundtrack but as he wrote it in 1792,he will not get any royalties.
"The Cross of Lorraine" suffers from a very low budget (the "village" where the French rebel) and a rather weak screenplay.One of these countless propaganda movies,it features French romantic young lead Jean -Pierre Aumont who really joined the "Forces Françaises Libres" .Other luminaries include the always reliable Hume Cronyn as the fellow-who-betrays-his-pals (compare with Sefton in Billy Wilder's "stalag 17");Peter Lorre ideally cast as the sadistic but dumb warden;sir Cedric Hardwicke as the noble priest who comfort his hungry brothers;Gene Kelly a soldier who has feelings of self-doubt.This first-class cast partly saves the movie .
But there are colossal mistakes: all the prisoners are supposed to be French and they never speak a word in their first language (at least Aumont -obvious- and Hardwicke were fluent in French).Besides,the Germans often speak English between them ,so why an interpret?and the young resistant fighter they meet as soon as they are out of the camp? In spite of the excellent cast ,all sounds bad.
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