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Cast

Credited cast:
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Metly
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Eric
Tony Pandolfo ...
Manager
Amber Phillips ...
Edna
Alex Greer ...
Ronnie / Donnie
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Sleepy Waiter
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Damon Huss ...
Poor Waiter
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Shoeshine Boy
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Storyline

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1 January 2001 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Love in the silent age!
27 June 2002 | by (Tonsberg, Norway) – See all my reviews

Imagine Charlie Chaplin making a sweet and charming gay love story in his best silent-comedy style, and you have War Story.

Ronnie, a strapping, good-looking soldier going off to WW1 takes the place of Edna Purviance, and the tramp-character is here played by Metly Morville, a wide-eyed fellow in a bowler-hat working as a waiter. Ronnie and Metly fall in love, yet there are problems....

War story could be written off as brilliant pastiche, of course. The stock characters are all here: The fat man with the huge moustache, the silly old dame, the lovely young thing, the sneaky thief. The pratfalls, the fisticuffs, the captions, - all here! The interior of the restaurant looks exactly like a set at Mack Sennett-studios in 1915.

And yet: There is a scene of two men being beaten up and thrown out of the restaurant for being "pansies". That, of course, is the way gays were treated back then. So there is a darker message of ignorance and intolerance being addressed here. And, of course, you would never see two men fall in love like this in the silents. Unthinkable.

Overall, I give this film a 10/10, if only for the sheer audacity and novelty of it. I hope Baumgartner will return to this simple way of making films. His audience will love him for it.


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