The life story of a salt-of-the-earth Irish immigrant, who becomes an Army Noncommissioned Officer and spends his 50 year career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This ... See full summary »
McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" ... See full summary »
Three vignettes of old Irish country life, based on a series of short stories. In "The Majesty of the Law," a police officer must arrest a very old-fashioned, traditional fellow for assault... See full summary »
In 1918 France, Captain Flagg commands a disreputable company of Marines; his new top sergeant is his old friendly enemy, Quirt. The two men become rivals for the favors of fair innkeeper's daughter Charmaine, but the rivalry goes into reverse when Charmaine proves to be angling for a husband. When the company is ordered to the front, this comedy interlude gives way to the grim realities of war. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Ford was an uncredited second unit director in the 1926 version directed by Raoul Walsh. See more »
Captain Flagg's command was referred to M Company, 5th Marines. In WWI Marine Companies were numbered. Prior to WWI they served independently with battalions and above were ad hoc organizations. 5th Marines should 5th Regiment. The change from Regiment to Marines wouldn't come until the 30s. See more »
Quirt loves the bottle, and when he's drunk he is the lousiest, filthiest tramp that ever wore a uniform. He's even worse than I am, and you know I don't allow anybody to get as bad as that.
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Well, despite having made "The Sands of Iwo Jima", John Ford made a movie about World War I Marines that doesn't really seem to be about Marines at all. I'm not a student of World War I Marine slang, but it seemed odd for Captain Flagg to pronounce Sergeant Quirt his "Top Soldier" and for Marines to refer to each other as soldiers. Despite the fact that they under French command, I found it odd for them to refer to being in the Army, since they are in the Corps. Go figure.
The two combat scenes are amateurish, even by Ford's standards. The acting is not convincing (except when Robert Wagner dies and Cagney manages not to over-act it) and while you can believe the two main characters don't like each other at the beginning, you never believe there's some odd tie binding them together. The character development is relatively tame, with only Wagner and Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter as a Marine Corporal and quartermaster!) showing any depth among the minor Marine characters.
Dan Dailey does play a convincing loud, parade ground senior NCO. He conveys the conniving and womanizing well, but when he is supposed to have finally fallen for the French beauty, it's hard to believe. Cagney plays merely a caricature of the hard-bitten, seen-it-all Marine. His final scene neither convinces you he considers staying or that the Corps means so much to him that he has to go.
The worst part is when a wounded Marine shouts out the title of the movie. It's something along the lines of "Are you going to get in the game, Captain? There's two minutes left and we need a hero. What price glory, Captain? What price glory?" One can imagine that delivered stirringly by a character whose motivation we understand, but instead, it is shouted by a nameless face with only a crazed look. It also would help if the Captain had been portrayed as a glory hound instead of drunken, war-weary yet sympathetic. I guess they had to get the name of the movie in somehow....
I was trying to imagine John Ford's World War I and was sadly disappointed that it wasn't more moving.
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