“My congratulations for the death of two fascists. Now you will set the table, please.”
When the leader (Gregory Peck) of a group of Soviet partisans during WWII falls in love with a famous ballerina (Tamara Toumanova) who has accidentally stumbled onto their group, his comrades worry he may get distracted from his cause; but Vladimir (Peck), Nina (Toumanova), and the other members of their team — including Semyon (Lowell Gilmore), Yelena (Maria Palmer), Fedor (Hugo Haas), and young siblings Olga (Dena Penn) and Mitya (Glen Vernon) — demonstrate nothing but loyalty and determination in their goals.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Gregory Peck Films
- Hugo Haas Films
- Jacques Tourneur Films
- World War II
Along with Mission to Moscow (1943) and The North Star (1943), this Jacques Tourneur-directed film was made specifically to enhance American support for an alliance with the Soviet Union in our collective fight against fascism. It’s notable for featuring young, handsome Gregory Peck in his cinematic debut:
… and also Czech-born, soon-to-be-writer-director Hugo Haas in his first Hollywood appearance:
However, it’s otherwise simply pure propaganda, with plenty of pulpy romance, honorable sacrifice, and hoary dialogue:
“I try to remember when I didn’t know you; I can’t.”
Only film fanatics with an interest in the super-brief era of Soviet-allied Hollywood cinema need to bother checking this one out.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Tony Gaudio’s cinematography
No, unless you’re curious.
One thought on “Days of Glory (1944)”
First viewing. Not must-see.
Though well-intentioned, this flick is overly earnest and full of dialogue that feels more Hollywood than WWII.
Seems to me that screenwriter Casey Robinson tended to be more disciplined than this – and the romance between Peck and Toumanova (her performance striving strangely for something ethereal but managing something in need of energy) is awkward and drippy.
Director Tourneur did what he could but the film’s worth rests with its anti-Nazi sentiment.