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(Review originally written at 7 September 2006)

This movie is just like most of the other movies from the '40's. It isn't too expensive or impressive looking but the movie serves its purpose.

Calling this movie a masterpiece would be an offense to other- true brilliant war movies. The movie remains way too simple and predictable for that. It doesn't make this movie as powerful as it perhaps could had been with a better story-flow and storytelling in general.

The movie its story is pretty simple and it mostly relies on themes such as comradeship and courage during a war situation. It provides the movie as a whole with a sort of patriotic undertone that however never really fully distracts from the movie. The movie still works well and at times also effective but it isn't all too impressive or memorable. Probably the only thing that makes this movie still a true recommendable and above average one, is the presence of James Cagney, in the main lead.

The rest of the acting is a bit bland and typically '40's over-the-top at certain points. Basically the James Cagney character is the only interesting one because of this but he honestly is not powerful or likable enough in his role, to carry the entire movie on his own.

It's sort of nice to see a movie focusing on WW I for a change. There really aren't that many WW I movies around, even though it was a really interesting time period with more than enough great and powerful stories to tell.

The movie is certainly not bad looking but it uses a bit too much stock-footage with as a result that the movie looks a bit cheap and perhaps even a bit silly. Further more the movie is also filled with a couple of odd and misplaced sequences (mostly patriotic and moralistic ones) that don't help to make this movie the easiest or most pleasant one to watch.

Good enough to watch it and effective at some points but for most part the movie remains nothing more than a distant and simple WW I movie.

6/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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