Road to Glory, The (1936)

“I left you with a wounded man on a wire, and you leave me with a mine to sit on.”

Synopsis:
A French lieutenant (Warner Baxter) serving in the trenches of World War I with his over-aged father (Lionel Barrymore) finds solace in the company of a local nurse (June Lang), who falls for a newly arrived officer (Fredric March).

Genres:

Review:
Howard Hawks’ The Dawn Patrol (1930) — about the devastation of daily deaths experienced by aerial fighters — ranks among the most hard-hitting films about World War I; and while this later outing by Hawks can’t compete with it, he once again highlights the unimaginable stress soldiers and their leaders endured during the Great War. Unfortunately, this film’s two primary sub-plots — the love triangle between March, Lang, and Baxter, and the challenges of Baxter commanding his aged father — aren’t all that compelling, but there are some incredibly intense battle scenes (i.e., the French squadron listening as an explosive-filled tunnel is built above their heads) that make it worth a one-time look by those interested in movies from and of this era. Interestingly, Hawks’ first feature-length film was also titled The Road to Glory (1926), though it appears to have an entirely different plot and not be related in any way.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Atmospheric cinematography

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look.

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