18 March 2008 | FerdinandVonGalitzien
Many Stereotyped Characters
The First World War was a terrible milestone of the last century, a huge catastrophe that destroyed the life of many youngsters. Besides meaning the end of an era, especially the associated implicit innocence, a great influence was the shock that such horrible war cause in the Arts.
Such an important happening was depicted in the cinema, during the conflict or after, in very different ways. With various degrees of success, documentaries, dramas, realistic or even funny features were put on the screen. "What Price Glory", a film directed by Herr Raoul Walsh, was one of those films with the First World War in the background.
The underlying problem of this film for this German count for not considering this oeuvre as remarkable as others with similar subject is the concept, the personal artistic intentions and way the director faces the story and its surroundings. That is to say, "What Price Glory" is a film that uses the Great War as an excuse not as a whole. The director is interested in especially depicting the love affairs included in the film and a strange comradeship between the two male main characters.
And that it would not be a problem if Herr Walsh avoided many stereotyped characters: - Two U.S. Marine sergeants, that is to say, two hard-boiled, cursing and womanizing men: -Herr Victor McLaglen und Herr Edmund Lowe who fight among themselves for the love of a naughty French peasant ( Dame Dolores del Rio ) and from time to time, against the Germans - Stereotyped characters and situations that probably worked in those ancient times but today are dated.
The film is a classic representation, a film with a war in background that lacks emotion in spite some interesting war scenes that are not enough to avoid having an enormous sensation of "déjà vu" during its long two hours. That's the worst comment that can be said about any silent film, a feeling of indifference, a sense that it's all the same to the spectator.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must return to the aristocratic trenches.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/