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Uncertain Glory (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 22 April 1944 (USA)
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After a career criminal is recaptured and knows he faces the guillotine, he offers to exchange his life for 100 hostages slated for execution by the Nazis.

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(screenplay) (as Laszlo Vadnay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jean Picard / Emil DuPont
...
Inspector Marcel Bonet
Lucile Watson ...
Mme. Maret
...
Louise
James Flavin ...
Captain of Mobile Guard
...
Police Commissioner LaFarge (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Dennis Hoey ...
Father Le Clerc
...
Henri Duval
Odette Myrtil ...
Mme. Bonet
Francis Pierlot ...
Father La Borde - Prison Priest
...
Marianne
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Storyline

During WWII, in France, Jean Picard is a criminal who is about to be executed via the guillotine, but an air raid interrupts it and allows him to escape. Inspector Bonet tracks him down and brings him back. But along the way, they hear that a railway bridge vital to the Germans has been destroyed, supposedly by allied agents. The Germans take 100 Frenchmen and are threatening to execute them unless the saboteurs come forward. Picard who would rather die at the hands of the firing squad as oppose to the guillotine, offers to go to the Germans and say that he is the saboteur. Bonet accepts and so they go the village near where the bridge was to learn all that they can so that Picard can convince the Germans that he is the saboteur. While there Picard, a womanizer, meets a young woman and falls in love with her. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf Ehrenwort  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Errol Flynn was criticized for playing heroes in World War II movies. Tony Thomas in his book 'Errol Flynn: The Spy Who Never Was' states that Flynn had tried to enlist in every branch of any armed services he could but was rejected as unfit for service on the grounds of his health. Flynn had a heart condition, tuberculosis, malaria and a back problem. Flynn felt he could contribute to America's war effort by appearing in such films as Edge of Darkness (1943); Northern Pursuit (1943); Dive Bomber (1941), Objective, Burma! (1945), and Uncertain Glory (1944). Reportedly, Flynn was at his most professional and co-operative he ever was whilst working on Second World War movies. The studios apparently did not diffuse the criticism of Flynn's state-of-health as they wished to keep it quiet for fear of his box-office draw waning. See more »

Quotes

Train Conductor: [Noticing that Bonet and Picard are handcuffed] Oh! Oh, which one of you gentlemen is the prisoner?
[Bonet nods toward Picard]
Train Conductor: Ah. of course! A bad type! What did he do?
Jean Picard: I killed a conducter for asking too many questions.
[the conductor nervously makes a quick exit]
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Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations in the score often
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User Reviews

 
Sharply defined, good moral dilemma, well done!
3 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Uncertain Glory (1944)

A rather good war drama, a bit pre-packaged but very well done, as pretty much all Warner Bros films were from this era. Errol Flynn was at a point in his career when he wanted to become a "leading man" in the broader sense, not just a sword-fighting (and handsome) daredevil.

Key to the movie is the quasi-propaganda quality of the movie, set and made during World War II. That's not a bad thing—it's not government propaganda at all, but simply rooting for the good guys, and putting the French (our allies) in a good light (which they deserve).

The plot twist is simple and comes out early, so this gives nothing away—Flynn is a petty criminal who killed someone in a moment of panic, almost by accident, and he's about to have his head chopped off. But then an opportunity (dramatically and beautifully done) suggests a different way to die: for the Cause. The question is whether he can follow through, or whether he'll follow his new romantic (and idealized) love interest to a free new life.

It's all rather good even if contained in movie expectations. The police detective who is guarding and helping Flynn's character is a stalwart of the period, Paul Lukas, and he adds a needed level of gravity and even complexity to the interactions. Flynn is a cheerful presence—very American (even though he's from Tasmania!)—but he often responds rather than leads his scenes. The third lead is the woman, played with wonderful honesty by Faye Emerson.

Part of enjoying these WWII movies is knowing their context, and getting how the audience was wild for a sense of the war, of knowing who was winning, and of sensing how the scene worked, what the French were really like, what the chances were for a soldier caught up in it all. Their brother, their son. And that's kind of what this movie is about, showing heroism, and goodness, and how the war is a just cause and the Nazis are truly horrible (they were). Flynn does what he needs to do here, and if there is artifice and some lack of total believability, that's almost necessary so that a safe distance and cushion is in place.

Not an essential movie, but a really good one, especially if you already like this kind of film and this era.


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