6.9/10
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8 user 8 critic

The Road Back (1937)

Approved | | Drama, War | 1 June 1937 (USA)
After World War I, a group of former German soldiers try to adjust to civilian life.

Director:

James Whale

Writers:

Charles Kenyon (screenplay), Erich Maria Remarque (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John 'Dusty' King ... Ernst (as John King)
Richard Cromwell ... Ludwig
Slim Summerville ... Tjaden
Andy Devine ... Willy
Barbara Read ... Lucy
Louise Fazenda ... Angelina
Noah Beery Jr. ... Wessling
Maurice Murphy ... Albert
John Emery ... Captain Von Hagen
Etienne Girardot ... Mayor
Lionel Atwill ... Prosecutor
Henry Hunter Henry Hunter ... Bethke
Larry J. Blake ... Weil (as Larry Blake)
Gene Garrick ... Giesicke
Marilyn Harris ... Maria - Ernst's Sister
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Storyline

At the end of the world war, several German soldiers return home to their city to find the social fabric and civil order disintegrating as communist gangs roam the streets and food and jobs become scarce. Riots and massacres lead the erstwhile average men to become cynical and desperate. Written by WesternOne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Road Back See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Fearful that this film would not do well overseas, the new regime at Universal Pictures severely edited the film before release, removing much of the strongly anti-Nazi slant that author Erich Maria Remarque included in the original novel, and which director James Whale intended to retain in the film version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sued for Libel (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Mademoiselle from Armentieres
(1919) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Tunbridge
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User Reviews

 
Homecoming 1918
2 November 2008 | by zolaaarSee all my reviews

Remarque's novel (which I haven't read) Der Weg zurück/The Road Back is a sequel to his All Quiet on the Western Front. Whale's (or rather Universal's) The Road Back has Slim Summerville as Tjaden again and mentions the names of Kat, Detering and Paul Bäumer in order to directly tie on the preceding film's success. Without success. Surely, The Road Back has a great first half, but, alas, a second half which does not hold up very well. Whale's excellent talent in directing is apparent, but as soon as the German soldiers arrive at home after World War I, it drifts too much into sentiment and pathos, without holding back the one or the other really powerful scene, (especially the one in the mental hospital) and some truly wonderful performances by Slim Summerville and Andy Devine. The choreography of the mass scene towards the end is impressive as well (which resembles Eisenstein's famous Odessa shots a lot). So, it's not really forgettable, but slight disappointment nonetheless.


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