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The Eve of St. Mark (1944)

Passed | | War, Drama | 22 May 1944 (USA)
Hometown boy Quizz West (William Eythe) is one of fewer than 19,000 draftees in 1940. After being familiarized with his fiancée Janet and him, we find Quizz at a gun position fighting off ... See full summary »

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writers:

Maxwell Anderson (based on a play by), George Seaton (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Anne Baxter ... Janet Feller
William Eythe ... Pvt. Quizz West
Michael O'Shea ... Pvt. Thomas Mulveroy
Vincent Price ... Pvt. Francis Marion
Ruth Nelson ... Nell West
Ray Collins ... Deckman West
Stanley Prager ... Pvt. Glinka
Harry Morgan ... Pvt. Shevlin (as Henry Morgan)
Robert Bailey ... Cpl. Tate
Joann Dolan Joann Dolan ... Lill Bird
Toni Favor Toni Favor ... Sal Bird
George Mathews ... Sgt. Ruby
John Archer ... Pvt. Carter
Murray Alper ... Sgt. Kriven
Dickie Moore ... Zip West
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Storyline

Hometown boy Quizz West (William Eythe) is one of fewer than 19,000 draftees in 1940. After being familiarized with his fiancée Janet and him, we find Quizz at a gun position fighting off the Japanese along the Philippine shoreline. The situation becomes hopeless for Quizz and his fellow gunners and it's either flee or hold their positions and provide cover for escapees. To make his decision, Quizz communes with his mother and Janet through the medium of dreams. Written by John Paul FD Morris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Maxwell Anderson's Prize Play! See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maxwell Anderson's The Eve of St. Mark See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Michael O'Shea, Stanley Prager, George Matthews, Joann Dolan , Joven E. Rola and Toni Favor all reprised their original stage roles in the film. See more »

Connections

Edited into All This and World War II (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Dated Propaganda.
5 April 2010 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

The stage play origins of this badly-dated wartime propaganda film are plain to see - or hear. People talk endlessly, and for the main part the aim seems to be to show just how ordinary their characters are. That's all very laudable, but it doesn't exactly make for riveting cinema.

William Eythe, one of Hollywood's blandest leading men - whose faltering career would drive him to alcoholic despair and an early grave - fails to grab our attention or empathy as a farm boy who finds himself battling with the Japs on some Philippine island. Although he's listed as the leading man, the status is nominal, and he finds himself struggling to stand out amongst an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Harry Morgan and Vincent Price. Morgan is the voice of doubt in the unit, who looks to the past when forming an opinion instead of acting for the future of the next generation; Price is an impoverished Southern aristocrat type, given to quoting Shakespeare at the drop of a hat; it's an eye-catching performance, although not, perhaps, for the right reasons. His southern accent is so weak it barely manages to crawl from his mouth before tripping from his lips with a dull thud.

The story plays second fiddle to the morale-boosting philosophising of its characters, and too much talk means the pace drags badly. In the final reel, the propaganda is ladled on like a thick creamy soup with characters speaking lines that must have had the audience squirming even back then. Essentially, the final message is a call to the parents of the nation to pass the baton to the next generation and allow all their fuzzy-cheeked boys to place themselves in the firing line.


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