6.3/10
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2 user 1 critic

Surrender (1931)

French POW Dumaine is sequestered near the castle of a prideful Prussian nobleman, Count Reinmacher, who lives for the day that his four sons will march triumphantly into Paris. Axelle, the... See full summary »

Director:

William K. Howard

Writers:

S.N. Behrman (dialogue), S.N. Behrman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warner Baxter ... Sergeant Dumaine
Leila Hyams ... Axelle von Meirbach
Ralph Bellamy ... Captain Ebbing
C. Aubrey Smith ... Count Reichendorf
Alexander Kirkland ... Major Dietrich Reichendorf
William Pawley ... Gourrut
Howard Phillips ... Claverie
George Beranger ... Fichet
Bodil Rosing ... Domenica
Tom Ricketts ... Gottlieb
Frank Arthur Swales Frank Arthur Swales ... Hugo
Joe Sawyer ... Sergeant Muller (as Joseph Sauers)
Al Burke Al Burke ... Audemard
Jack Conrad Jack Conrad ... Sylvestre
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Storyline

French POW Dumaine is sequestered near the castle of a prideful Prussian nobleman, Count Reinmacher, who lives for the day that his four sons will march triumphantly into Paris. Axelle, the daughter of one of the sons, makes periodic goodwill visits to the prison compound, and by-and-by she falls in love with Dumaine.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Surrender See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Virginia Weidler. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Imaginative Camera-work, Dated Script, Mediocre Performances
11 May 2008 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

When an eager young interviewer tape-recorded James Wong Howe in 1970 and asked him whom he considered to be the best director he'd ever worked with, he was startled beyond measure to hear Howe reply, without the lightest hesitation, "William K. Howard." My eager young friend had expected the cinematographer to name Martin Ritt or John Frankenheimer or even Daniel Mann. But he'd never even heard of William K. Howard! Yet Howe went on to explain that in his opinion, Howard was by far the most imaginative and talented director he'd ever come across. A director who had visual style, flair and know-how!

Howe was in China when talkies arrived, shooting backgrounds that were later used in Shanghai Express. "When I came back, I had no experience with sound pictures and I couldn't land a job. After a year out of work, I met William K. Howard. I made some tests for him and he hired me to work on Transatlantic. That was something remarkable. I used wide angles and deep focus throughout, long before Citizen Kane. When they saw Transatlantic, critics pointed out that the camera had finally started to move in the talkies."

After films for Howard Hawks, William Cameron Menzies and Raoul Walsh, Howe was re-united with Howard on Surrender and we can see exactly what Howe meant by imaginative direction. Visually, the picture is a feast for the eyes, as the camera swoops, glides and dollies through the enormous Reichendorf sets. The film editing is often equally swift, innovative and effective.

Unfortunately, the script is somewhat dated. But worse, the acting is not so hot. A director can do little with his script, but his players are entirely his responsibility. Leila Hyams is a most lovely girl, but her acting seems neither confident nor convincing, although she improves as the plot progresses. Sir C. Aubrey Smith, on the other hand, makes the opposite error. He plays his part at full volume, shouting and ranting as if he were on a theatre stage not a movie set. Warner Baxter mouths his dialogue with clarity, but with little or no expression. Only Ralph Bellamy and Alexander Kirkland impress.


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