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The futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI is shown as a unit commander in the French army must deal with the mutiny of his men and a glory-seeking general after part of his force falls back under fire in an impossible attack. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
The epic battle sequence was filmed in a 5,000-sq.-yd. pasture rented from a German farmer. After paying for the crops that would have been raised that season, the production team moved in with eight cranes and as many as 60 crew members working around the clock for three weeks to create trenches, shell holes and the rough, muddy terrain of a World War I battleground. See more »
During the first tracking with Dax in the trenches, the shadow of a boom-mike is visible. See more »
Narrator of opening sequence:
War began between Germany and France on August 3rd 1914. Five weeks later the German army had smashed its way to within eighteen miles of Paris. There the battered French miraculously rallied their forces at the Marne River and in a series of unexpected counterattacks drove the Germans back. The front was stabilized then shortly afterwards developed into a continuous line of heavily fortified trenches zigzagging their way five hundred miles from the English Channel to the Swiss ...
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This movie, along with the original screen version of "All Quiet on the Western Front" must rank as one of the most tragic versions of what war is really like. The arrogance and total disregard for the welfare of the soldier as beautifully portrayed by Menjou and McReady, in opposition to the care and concern of the Colonel so humanly portrayed by Douglas adds to the reality of what the world was like in the days of the "Great War." Additionally, the roles played by Wayne Morris, Ralph Meeker and the self serving aide to McReady add to the greatness of this memorable motion picture. There is no "Viva La France" here.
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