3 February 2011 | dbdumonteil
The road to honor.....
...goes through the Légion Etrangère .Like Paulin's earlier"Trois DE Saint-Cyr" it's a militarist movie (unlike Carné's hero in "Quai Des Brumes ,who was a deserter ,the twin brothers know that the only way to redemption goes through military glory .The army even fights (or at least does not help) the police for ,as an officer says "they are our children ;we would not inform on them".
The eternal story of the brothers : one is valiant,loyal and is a brave officer;the other one took the wrong road .As they are twins (both played by the same actor Henri Garat,who was looking for a more consistent part),it's easy for the bad one to take his brother's identity to escape from the strong arm of law .Back in France ,he runs into difficulties :his dear mom (the marvelous Marcelle Géniat,the most tender mother of the era)and his "fiancée" (Renée Saint-Cyr) don't see through the trick .But a cop,as zealous as Javert in "LES Miserables" is suspicious about him.The poor guy goes as far as to burn his fingerprints .
Although completely old-fashioned,and rather mediocre compared to the French masterpieces of this glorious (for the cinema) 1939 year ,"Le Chemin De L'Honneur" retains a certain pristine charm thanks to the supporting actors (who,apart from Geniat and Jeanne Fusier-Gir, feature Pierre Brasseur and Charpin).