Disclaimer first: I got this film from archive.org, with a runtime of 1:17:09 (i.e. 77 minutes), while the original supposedly was 90 minutes. No cutting was done to streamline it.. rather, it just breaks off somewhere near the end, when Therese goes to report Pierre to the police. Very frustrating..
Brief plot review: in WW1, German airman Peter Thormann on a bomber plane gets shot down over France. The other two of the crew are dead, so he sets the plane wreck on fire and tries to walk eastwards - by day in the woods, by night on roads. On the fourth day he collapses and is picked up by a French theater troupe travelling to the front. Especially Therese, the director's daughter (Lida Baarova), cares much for him, and nurtures him back to life.
Pierre, as he calls himself now, feigns amnesia and assumes a role as mouth organ player. During their show, they experience another German bomb raid and flee to a bomb shelter, including several German POWs. Pierre gets in contact with them, and they plan an escape.
Meanwhile, Thereses co-suitor finds indicia that Pierre may be a German spy (half of a Reichsmark coin), and tells her so. She confronts Pierre. He says he's a soldier but not a spy, and only wants to return to his regiment. She is extremely disappointed and runs out to report him...
Here, my copy from archive.org ends abruptly. Possibly the ending really got lost in the tribulations of WW2, for which this film might have been a propaganda prequel. However, given the title "Patriots" and the fact that most roles are French, it at least appeared more subtle to me than just propaganda. Example dialog: Therese: "But we will win the war!" Pierre: "Yes, but we'll try to make it as hard on you as we can!" I really would like to see the missing , final 13 minutes. This obviously isn't All Quiet on the Western Front, but what I've seen gives mostly interesting details of the "enemy" side (North African and British soldiers, too). Hope the ending turns up somewhere, like the missing scenes from Metropolis did...
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