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 Anthill" the objective which the French assault fails to take in the film, was called "The Pimple" in the Humphrey Cobb novel upon which the film was based, possibly changed because it might have been thought it would have detracted from the serious nature of the film. See more »
As Col. Dax is running through the trenches after Gen. Mireau gives his order, a "dead" soldier blinks. 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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