An American World War I soldier, whose disfigured face is reconstructed by Austrian plastic surgeons, returns home after twenty years, but no one recognizes him, his widow is married to another man, and his son is a grown young man.
In a typical American Midwestern city, Hartfield, Iowa, Lew Marsh (Don Ameche) is the owner of a drugstore. Everyone knows Lew and knew his grandfather, old "Gramp" Marsh (Harry Carey), who... See full summary »
In 1944, Comics Cavalcade adapted the movie as a promotional give-away comic book. The following year the book was reprinted (though the first panel was altered). Neither version of the comic book was issued with a cover. See more »
When Emil appears in his Nazi uniform, the shirt and pants are those of the Hitler Youth (which is appropriate for someone his age). However, the armband is not that of the Hitler Youth (alternating red and white bands with a swastika inside a white diamond), but that of a regular party member (solid red background with a swastika in a white circle). He would not have been eligible for full party membership - and the party armband - until his 18th birthday. See more »
I am a German! I'm being persecuted because you're afraid of the German Reich. America is a cesspool! The only pure blooded American is the Sioux Indian!
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I had not heard of the film until I saw it on the Turner Movie Classics schedule. Seeing the subject matter and the 1944 date excited me. The writer, director and cast would be playing out the issues in real time, as the die was cast. I grew up in a household conflicted with stories and opinions of Nazi Germany. My mother is Jewish. My father was German and raised by a father who supported Hitler. I have always been fascinated by Germans who seem to be good people who choose to ignore the eventual outcome of Hitler's madness and defend Germany's need for him.
The characters each have their unique perspective and reaction to Emil as played masterfully by Skip Homeier. The desire to see only the good in a human being with no expectation that they are dealing with a fully brainwashed evil acting thug is such an American trait. This movie is simply made and concentrates closely on the story, and it's the story and the acting that is compelling. I think you will enjoy it if you enjoy a good psychological study. My husband was disappointed with the ending, I, however, was overjoyed and cried. P. S. It was nice to see Agnes Moorehead in her role. I have never seen her play such a "normal person".
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