U.S. Marine sergeants Quirt and Flagg are inveterate romantic rivals on peacetime assignments in China and the Philippines. In 1917, W.W. I brings them to France, where Flagg, now a captain... See full summary »
Raoul Walsh's version of the popular Maxwell Anderson play about U.S. Marines Flagg (Victor McLaglen) and Quirt (Edmund Lowe), two rivals who soon find themselves in France during WWI but their personal battle is over a beautiful woman (Dolores del Rio) they've both fallen for. There's no question that this here is much better than the John Ford remake with James Cagney but in regards to the war pictures of the silent era, I'd rank this one here a little towards the bottom as it certainly doesn't measure up to stuff like THE BIG PARADE and WINGS. With that said, I think there's enough good things here to make it worth viewing. One of the highlights is certainly the battle sequences that take place towards the end of the movie. I think these are directed with a lot of skill as there's no question that Walsh knew had to build up these scenes and make them tense. Another thing the film has going for it are the performances by the three leads. McLaglen clearly steals the picture since he's got the more memorable character but he has no problem playing the giant brute with a heart. Lowe plays that good-looking fun guy, something he'd do throughout his career. Dolores del Rio wasn't all that believable being a French woman but she too still did a nice job with the part. My biggest problem with this film is that I just never really cared about the love story. This here turned out to be a rather big problem because this really eats up the majority of the running time and I think the anti-war message and war scenes would have been much stronger had the love stuff not brought everything down. I'd also say that the stereotypes were rather boring and it made everything way too easy to figure out. From who gets the girl to which characters will eventually die. Still, WHAT PRICE GLORY is worth watching for the battle scenes and performances.