World War One

Abel Gance – J’accuse! (1919)

The Movie
J’Accuse is a story set against the backdrop of World War I that is considered one of the most technically advanced films of the era and the first major pacifist film. Gance, who had served briefly in the military during World War I, decided to return to active service in 1919 in order to film real battle scenes to include in the project. The film was reedited and shortened for peacetime reissue in 1922, and has not been available since in its original form.
Lobster Films Studios, Paris, working in collaboration with Netherlands Filmmuseum have culled materials from the Lobster Collection, the Czech archive in Prague, the Cinematheque Francaise, and the Netherlands Filmmuseum to make the best possible and most complete edition of the original 1919 edit of the film. Read More »

Roger Corman – Von Richthofen and Brown AKA The Red Baron (1971)

Synopsis:
World War I: an allied squadron and a German squadron face off daily in the skies. Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, leads one, and, although one of his decisions cost the life of his predecessor, he expects his men to honor codes of conduct. The allied squad has similar class divisions: its colonel, an aristocrat, laments that men he considers peasants are now fliers, including a cynical and ruthless Canadian, Roy Brown, the squad’s ace. As the tactics of both sides break more rules and become more destructive, the Baron must decide if he is a soldier first or part of the ruling class. He and Brown have two aerial battles, trivial in the larger scheme yet tragic. Read More »

King Vidor & George W. Hill – The Big Parade [+Extras] (1925)

Quote:
A Superlative War Picture.
An eloquent pictorial epic of the World War was presented last night at the Astor Theatre before a sophisticated gathering that was intermittently stirred to laughter and tears. This powerful photodrama is entitled “The Big Parade,” having been converted to the screen from a story by Laurence Stallings, co-author of “What Price Glory,” and directed by King Vidor. It is a subject so compelling and realistic that one feels impelled to approach a review of it with all the respect it deserves, for as a motion picture it is something beyond the fondest dreams of most people. Read More »

Georg Jacoby – Der feldgraue Groschen AKA A Coin the Colour of Battle Field Grey (1917)

Promotional film for war loans and bonds. Mother Froehlich sells her clock and sends the money to her son fighting in war. Then they get attacked and someone else finds the lucky coin… (themoviedb.org) Read More »

Howard Hawks – Sergeant York (1941)

Synopsis:
Somewhat fictionalized account of the life and war service of Alvin York, who went from humble beginnings to being one of the most celebrated American servicemen to fight in World War I. As depicted in the film, Alvin turned to religion when he was struck by lightning during one of his drunken outings. Alvin took his newfound religion seriously claiming to be a conscientious objector when receiving his draft notice. When that was refused, he joined the infantry where he served with valor, capturing a large number of Germans and saving the lives of many of his men who were under heavy fire. Read More »

Marcel L’Herbier – Rose-France (1918)

Quote:
A few months later, (L’Herbier) directed Rose-France, an excessive and disturbing poem, filmed in the form of a weird symbolist collage. In this movie he started to experiment with special effects and celebrated the young actor Jaque Catelain, an expressive beauty, a true Dorian Gray, whose presence would mark almost all of his silent films. His mastery of the medium earned him a two-year contract at the Gaumont Film Company. Read More »

Michael Haneke – Die Rebellion (1993)

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Quote:
Die Rebellion (The Rebellion). 1993. Austria. Directed by Michael Haneke. With its silent-era aesthetic of sepia tones and muted color tints, and its interweaving of realism and fantasy, Haneke’s haunting adaptation of Joseph Roth’s expressionistic 1924 novel is an homage to the great Weimar cinema of G. W. Pabst and F. W. Murnau. In a heartbreaking performance, Branko Samarovski plays Andreas Pum, a soldier who loses his leg during the Great War and becomes an organ-grinder to earn a few coins a day. To this loyal citizen of the State, the veterans and firebrands who march in protest against society’s neglect are lazy, insubordinate “heathens.” But when an ugly tram incident condemns Pum to a life of penury and loneliness, his soul is awakened to the bitter waste of a life spent in duty to God and Empire. In German; 90 min Read More »