Based on the 1935 novel of the same name, it tells the story of an ill-fated assault on German forces by French soldiers, and the grippling consequences those soldiers face when they refuse to follow through with it.
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Special effects supervisor Erwin Lange was forced to appear before a special German government commission before he was permitted to acquire the huge number of explosives needed for the battle scenes. Over a ton of explosives were discharged in the first week of filming alone. See more »
After the court martial, as the sergeant is addressing the guards describing the procedure and discipline required of the firing squad, all of the guards in the rank have a "710" regiment number collar pin whereas the sergeant (and those in Colonel Dax's regiment) have a "701". 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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In France, in the First World War, the insane and ambitious general Gen. Paul Mireau (George Macready) orders Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) to lead his men in a suicide attack against Germans in the unattainable Ant Hill. After a massacre of the French soldiers, Gen. Mireau orders his artillery to drop bombs between the French front line of attack and the trenches, to avoid the soldier to return to the protection of the trenches. The commander of the French artillery refuses to accomplish the order. Gen. Mireau asks his superior, Gen. George Broulard (Adolphe Menjou), to send three men to Court Martial and execute them for cowardice through shooting, as an example to the other soldiers. Colonel Dax, a former lawyer, defends his men in the unfair trial. Yesterday I watched this outstanding masterpiece for the first time and certainly it is among the best movies of the cinema history. The disgusting story shows the insanity of a war, where men are treated like numbers and not as human beings. The reality of the battles scenes is amazing. The cast has a stunning performance, highlighting the trio George Macready, Adolphe Menjou and Kirk Douglas. The lack of sensibility and respect for the human life and the cynicism in the dialogs of the two generals are fantastic. Two other points that called my attention are the fancy reception for the general staff, while their subalterns are fighting in the front and the misunderstanding of the real intentions of Colonel Dax by Gen. George Broulard. A must-see movie! My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): `Glória Feita de Sangue' (`Glory Made of Blood')
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