(Review originally written at 22 December 2008)

To be perfectly honest, this was one of the most tiresome movies I have seen in a long while. It's a long and slow movie, that doesn't feature enough humor, drama or action. Instead it mixes all of these genre together but it's just not using enough of any of it. I'm sure I would had adored this movie if it only had some more comedy in it. It had all of the right type of characters for it but yet somehow the movie doesn't decide to push it through. Instead now the comedy works out often more as annoying than anything else really.

The movie is completely character driven but the movie reaches a point that I just don't care about the character anymore. I don't care much about his love life, his military career. In that regard this movie in my eyes already is a failure. It just couldn't hold my interest.

The movie too often drivels around too much and the movie feels quite bloated. It's made to look bigger than it in fact truly all is. Some sequences go on for far too long, without making an impression, or leave a significant enough purpose. And the movie doesn't get any better as it heads toward its ending. On the contrary, I would say.

The movie tells basically the entire lifespan of a military man, from a young ambitious officer to a more realistic gray, fat, retired army colonel. We see him not only grow as a military man but also as a person, as he meets new people throughout his life and re-encounters a German officer and later friend, at various points throughout his career. This could had all provided a movie with an intriguing story and characters but because its so tiresome all, it just doesn't ever really work out as it was supposed to.

Having said all of that; it's a quite good looking movie. It's a movie that got made back in 1943 but yet it got shot in full color. This certainly gives the movie something extra. It has a great look, which not in the least is also due to some fine cinematography, from Oscar-winner Georges PĂ©rinal. He was a person who was already doing color movies in the late '30's.

I just didn't liked this movie as much as everyone else seems to do.


About Frank Veenstra

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