29 January 2008 | claudio_carvalho
Why Do They Have to Die?
In 1916, somewhere in the front in France in World War I, the 5th Company in the 2nd Battalion of the 39th Regiment created by Napoleon Bonaparte and leaded by the tough Captain Paul La Roche (Warner Baxter) receives among the replacements, Lieutenant Michel Denet (Fredric March) and private Moran (Lionel Barrymore). When Lt. Denet meets the nurse Monique La Coste (June Lang), who is Capt. La Roche's mistress but he does not know, they fall in love for each other. When Capt. La Roche sees the old Pvt. Moran in his inspection, he identifies his father using a fake identity. Meanwhile, the 39th Regiment receives order to go to the trenches, attack the German lines and install a telephone in the front to guide the artillery.
"The Road to Glory" is another great anti-war movie that shows the barbarian life in the trenches in WWI, using a dramatic triangle of love and father-son relationship in a time where the leader headed the attack and soldiers were just numbers. The direction of Howard Hawks and the screenplay are excellent, using adequate pace and lines such as "why do they have to die?" or the contradictory "the fear is just in the imagination" to support the anti-war message of the feature. The scenarios and cinematography depict the horror of the insanity of war in the bloody trenches. The performances of Warner Baxter, in the role of a harsh commander; Fredric March in the role of the ambiguous lieutenant divided between love and loyalty; Lionel Barrymore, in the role of a stubborn old soldier; and the gorgeous June Lang in the important role of a nurse also divided by her moral obligation with her lover and real love, are wonderful and credible. I am really impressed with the beauty of June Lang. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Caminho da Glória" ("Path of the Glory")