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What Price Glory (1952) HD online

What Price Glory (1952) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Comedy / Drama / Musical / Romance / War
Original Title: What Price Glory
Director: John Ford
Writers: Phoebe Ephron,Henry Ephron
Released: 1952
Duration: 1h 51min
Video type: Movie
In 1918 France, Captain Flagg commands a disreputable company of Marines; his new top sergeant is his old friendly enemy, Quirt. The two men become rivals for the favors of fair innkeeper's daughter Charmaine, but the rivalry goes into reverse when Charmaine proves to be angling for a husband. When the company is ordered to the front, this comedy interlude gives way to the grim realities of war.


Complete credited cast:
James Cagney James Cagney - Capt. Flagg
Corinne Calvet Corinne Calvet - Charmaine
Dan Dailey Dan Dailey - 1st Sgt. Quirt
William Demarest William Demarest - Cpl. Kiper
Craig Hill Craig Hill - Lt. Aldrich
Robert Wagner Robert Wagner - Pvt. Lewisohn
Marisa Pavan Marisa Pavan - Nicole Bouchard
Max Showalter Max Showalter - Lt. Moore (as Casey Adams)
James Gleason James Gleason - Gen. Cokely
Wally Vernon Wally Vernon - Lipinsky
Henri Letondal Henri Letondal - Cognac Pete

John Ford was an uncredited second unit director in the 1926 version directed by Raoul Walsh.

Jack Pennick was an acknowledged military expert. Highly likely that he was a technical expert on this movie even though he never received credit for being so. While filming a movie at West Point, he pointed out that a display of crossed swords were hung upside down. They had been incorrectly displayed for many years.

This version uses almost no dialogue from the original play and was originally intended to be a musical.

Barry Norton played the priest in the 1952 version and Lewistohn in the 1926 version.

Jack Pennick was also in the 1926 version.

Robert Wagner, who had an early role in this film, greatly annoyed director John Ford, who repeatedly humiliated the young actor on set, referred to him contemptuously as "Boob" and even allegedly knocked him down at one point.

The melody "Charmaine" (Rapee/Pollock), specially written for the 1928 version of the film, was incorporated into the soundtrack music following a best-selling version record by Mantovani making the charts in 1951.

Marisa Pavan's film debut,

Reviews: [15]

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    In the mid-1920s, when What Price Glory? debuted as a play and was filmed for the first time, there was a popular anti-war mood, and cultural works attacking the First World War proliferated. In the early-1950s, with World War Two a recent memory and the Korean war still going on, war movies of every kind were at the height of their popularity, but there was no way they could be openly anti-militaristic. Hence, when Fox Studios decided to resurrect the classic story in 1952 it was largely a comical and de-politicised affair.

    With a screenplay by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, this version of What Price Glory? uses virtually none of Maxwell Anderson's original dialogue. The job of direction was handed to John Ford, who was known for staging extended improvisations, creating little vignettes of military life with comical drunkenness and good-natured fistfights. In What Price Glory? this is done to the extent that it actually overshadows any semblance of plot. And not just the anti-war business; the romantic subplots seem weak and disjointed as well.

    That's not to say there aren't some good things about this picture. The Technicolor cinematography by Joe MacDonald is often breathtaking, giving a haunting quality to the mist-shrouded battlegrounds. Ford was as always a good visual director, often using stark contrasts in depth to bring different ideas to our attention in the one shot. For example, as the troops march off to the front, a mass of drab browns and greys, we see Corinne Calvet in a bold red, white and blue dress – a human flag and a reminder of what the men are leaving behind them. And James Cagney is good fun in one of his purely comic roles.

    But there is little else to recommend about this What Price Glory? Various scenes look to have been filmed with an emphasis on pathos, but they don't work within the structure of the whole thing. When a young Robert Wagner makes the central speech in which the words of the title are spoken, it seems barely to relate to the rest of the picture. And it's not the mixing of comedy with the realities of war per se that makes it fall apart – after all this is the basis of such classics as The Big Parade and MASH – it's just that the balance is wrong. It simply fails to take the war seriously enough, and the "serious" moments seem like flimsy little inserts. Of course, if it had been a tight and hard-hitting anti-war drama, it would most likely have fallen foul of the censors and/or stifled the careers of its creative team. As it was, this vague mish-mash of bar songs and army jokes was conveniently inoffensive.
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    One of the great anti-war plays of the 1920s was Maxwell Anderson's What Price Glory. The play expressed popular American feeling that we were never going to war again like that and endure the slaughter in those trenches in France that occurred in the short time we were there. Remember we only declared war in 1917 and the thing had been going on in Europe for three years by the time we got there.

    One of the things Woodrow Wilson as President and the American Expeditionary Force commander John Pershing insisted on was that the American army when fully trained would fight as a unit and not just be replacement troops for the French and British already there. They deviated only once from that policy when the American First Marine Division became the first American troops in battle in World War I at Belleau Wood. These Marines depicted here are part of those troops.

    John Ford is one of our great American directors and when he does his own work on material never before used he's produced some remarkable cinema. But here he takes a serious anti-war play and turns it into one of his service comedies. There certainly are comedic elements in What Price Glory, but it's a serious picture.

    The original silent film version done by Raoul Walsh was faithful to Maxwell Anderson's spirit and introduced those two Marines Edmund Lowe and Victor McLaglen who were so popular as Captain Flagg and Sergeant Quirt that they went and starred in a slew of buddy films. In fact they and James Cagney and Pat O'Brien introduced and popularized the buddy film genre.

    Cagney steps into McLaglen shoes here and Dan Dailey plays Sergeant Quirt. They played two belligerent oafs in this and play them well, but no one ever thought of re-teaming them.

    John Ford should have let this classic alone.
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    In 1918, in Bar-de-Duc, France, the leader of a company of Marines in the front, Captain Flagg (James Cagney), receives a group of green replacements and his disaffection, the tough Sergeant Quirt (Dan Dailey). Their rivalry increases when they both feel attracted by the same easy woman and daughter of the local innkeeper, Charmaine (Corinne Calvet).

    What a disappointing and silly parody of war this "What Price Glory" is! Directed by John Ford and with James Cagney in the cast, I could not believe that this film would be so weak. Today I have watched "The Road to Glory", a great anti-war movie directed by Howard Hawks that shows the barbarian life in the trenches in WWI. However, John Ford has made neither a comedy (like Robert Altman's "MASH"), nor a romance or drama or war movie. Actually it is a messy feature, too silly and not funny for a comedy, too heavy for a romance and unreal for a drama or war, but with a magnificent cinematography and a lovely Corinne Calvet. My vote is five.

    Title (Brazil): "Sangue por Glória" ("Blood for Glory")
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    Well, despite having made "The Sands of Iwo Jima", John Ford made a movie about World War I Marines that doesn't really seem to be about Marines at all. I'm not a student of World War I Marine slang, but it seemed odd for Captain Flagg to pronounce Sergeant Quirt his "Top Soldier" and for Marines to refer to each other as soldiers. Despite the fact that they under French command, I found it odd for them to refer to being in the Army, since they are in the Corps. Go figure.

    The two combat scenes are amateurish, even by Ford's standards. The acting is not convincing (except when Robert Wagner dies and Cagney manages not to over-act it) and while you can believe the two main characters don't like each other at the beginning, you never believe there's some odd tie binding them together. The character development is relatively tame, with only Wagner and Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter as a Marine Corporal and quartermaster!) showing any depth among the minor Marine characters.

    Dan Dailey does play a convincing loud, parade ground senior NCO. He conveys the conniving and womanizing well, but when he is supposed to have finally fallen for the French beauty, it's hard to believe. Cagney plays merely a caricature of the hard-bitten, seen-it-all Marine. His final scene neither convinces you he considers staying or that the Corps means so much to him that he has to go.

    The worst part is when a wounded Marine shouts out the title of the movie. It's something along the lines of "Are you going to get in the game, Captain? There's two minutes left and we need a hero. What price glory, Captain? What price glory?" One can imagine that delivered stirringly by a character whose motivation we understand, but instead, it is shouted by a nameless face with only a crazed look. It also would help if the Captain had been portrayed as a glory hound instead of drunken, war-weary yet sympathetic. I guess they had to get the name of the movie in somehow....

    I was trying to imagine John Ford's World War I and was sadly disappointed that it wasn't more moving.
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    I was surprised to see John Ford's name listed as the director for this film, and even more surprised when it was over. With Oscar wins for greats like "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "How Green Was My Valley (1941), I can't imagine what Ford might have thought after completing this picture, which doesn't quite work as either a war adventure or a military comedy. Which is saying something considering the cast that was assembled to put this effort together.

    It all starts reasonably enough as Jimmy Cagney swaggers into a World War I French town leading his troops, awaiting the arrival of his new 'Top Soldier'. I wondered about that characterization for quite a while since the term was used a number of times. When 1st Sergeant Quirt (Dan Dailey) finally reports to his commanding officer, the official greeting boils down to a chalk line fist fight that gets repeated each time the men come up with a reason to challenge each other, and there's no shortage of those.

    Corinne Calvet portrays the romantic interest for both men in the film, but the way her attention see saws back and forth between them, the set up becomes little more than contrived for the sake of a story. Her character Charmaine doesn't seem to spark with either Captain Flagg (Cagney) or Quirt, and considering the way she was treated by both, I'm surprised she didn't tell either one to take a hike, military or otherwise.

    The film descends into 'Hogan's Heroes' territory later in the movie when Flagg's assignment to capture a German officer sets the friendly rivals off into enemy territory. For me, the film lost a lot of credibility when Flagg and Quirt wind up glad handing the German Colonel after knocking off a trio of higher ranking soldiers. It somehow seemed beneath Cagney's screen persona to make sport of a war time situation like that. Also, the film's attempt to convey some symbolic meaning to it's title generally falls flat when a wounded Marine challenges Flagg, shouting 'What price glory?' during a scene that wasn't very stirring or emotional, another device in the film that really doesn't work.

    Company L's colorful cast includes William Demarest, Harry Morgan, Wally Vernon and an unrecognizably young Robert Wagner who doesn't make it home. Each has generally limited screen time in support of Flagg's blustery demeanor, except Wagner who's off and running in a romance of his own with a French school girl. It might have been a tearjerker, but it wasn't.

    Interestingly, James Cagney appeared in another World War I film, "The Fighting 69th" about a regiment of mostly New York Irish soldiers. Again, the story is fairly simplistic, though fans of the actor can count on his solid performance in each. It's only too bad that he wasn't given more to work with.
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    "What Price Glory" is a World War I lover's triangle set against the ravaged backdrop of French countryside circa, 1918. Drama aside, the film is not what one might expect from directorial giant John Ford. James Cagney is a bit over the hill to be believable as Capt. Flagg, a stoic commander of a motley troupe of conscripts. Flagg's ill at ease postulating does not bode well with his men, so he turns to disrespectful and disreputable Sgt. Quirt (Dan Dailey) for a little bit of hard knock military strength. But the tensions between Flagg and Quirt are pressed to the breaking point when they both fall for the same girl – stop me if you've heard this one before. Strong performances elevate this film above the tripe that – generally – it is.

    THE TRANSFER: Frankly, not up to snuff. Although the overall color scheme has retained much of its original luster, the picture quality is a disappointment. There is an excessive amount of film grain and age related artifacts throughout for a not very smooth visual presentation. Fluctuations in color balancing are – at times – severe and distracting. There is a minor amount of digital grit that further detracts from the image. Black levels are weak. Contrast and shadow delineation is poorly balanced for a very unstable looking presentation. The audio has been cleaned up but remains strident sounding and lacking in bass quality.

    EXTRAS: As with the other war films in this batch from Fox, you get nothing to augment your experience.

    BOTTOM LINE: "What Price Glory" isn't recommended either as a war film, or for its transfer quality. Seek satisfying your thirst for conquest elsewhere.
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    Marine buddies James Cagney (as Captain Flagg) and Dan Dailey (as Sergeant Quirt) carouse through World War I, and eventually become rivals for the affections of beautifully-proportioned Frenchwoman Corinne Calvet (as Charmaine). Newly arriving from Philadelphia, handsome 22-year-old Robert Wagner (as Private Lewisohn) is attracted to local 17-year-old Marisa Pavan (as Nicole Bouchard). The pretty, dark-haired girl's father is upset. Rivaling Mr. Wagner for handsomeness, Craig Hill (as Aldrich) asks the titular question, "What price glory?" Future TV stars William Demarest and Harry Morgan support the troops...

    This successful stage comedy-drama became a huge "silent" film hit for Fox in 1926, winning Quigley Publications "Best Picture" award and rising high in everyone's "Ten Best" list for the year. This 1952 re-make did not score as well with audiences...

    One of the original film's "all-talking" comedy sequels was the semi-musical "The Cock-Eyed World" (1929), which is how this project was initially envisioned. We have colorful cinematic sets, a few remaining musical performances and stage-lighting techniques. Director John Ford and the Fox personnel assembled were much more aware of the earlier films, helping to explain this misfire. The story began as an anti-war statement; while present, the point gets lost in the inebriated interplay between Mr. Cagney and Mr. Dailey. The actors are forced to alternate between broad "F Troop"-style antics and the accumulation of dead bodies.

    ***** What Price Glory (7/25/52) John Ford ~ James Cagney, Dan Dailey, Corinne Calvet, Robert Wagner
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    Excellent performances by James Cagney and Dan Dailey with good support from William Demarest and a super young Robert Wagner. Interesting contrast of characters from the battle tested professionals like Cagney and Dailey to the fresh out of basic training and high school Wagner. Also brings out the issue of battle fatigue or "shell-shocked" and how it sometimes affects soldiers directly and indirectly by its effect on the morale of their buddies. The interaction with the townspeople is also well done. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this movie every time I have seen it. It is like vintage wine and seems to get better with age. The first time I saw this movie was in l954 and I learned to sing the song "Its a long way to Tipperary" from watching it one time.
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    Oh how I hated this movie! Instead of learning anything about WW1, it was very silly and superficial. This movie took WW1 and re-created it so it looks more like a combination of the war AND a Popeye cartoon! The paper thin and stooopid plot is really annoying at times, as the characters alternate between fighting in the war and getting drunk and beating each other up for laughs. Wow--that sound like a lot of fun! All that were missing were Olive Oyl and spinach! Frankly, this made the entire movie look like it was written by a couple of 8th graders who really had no idea what the first world war was.

    Both actors deserved more and USUALLY John Ford was able to deftly blend action with light comedy--but not this time.
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    I know little about the play on which this was based, nor have I seen the previous silent film version of that play. So my gripes aren't about how faithful this is or isn't. I just think this movie stunk to high heaven and I can't believe James Cagney, let alone the great John Ford, had anything to do with it. This is a very lame, tired war comedy with a paunchy old Jimmy Cagney and Dan Dailey lusting after a younger woman (Corinne Calvet) while World War I is going on. There are some attempts at staying true to its serious backdrop but that just makes matters worse all jumbled together with the sophomoric comedy. One good thing I'll say about it is that Corinne Calvet is easy on the eyes. Avoid this unless you are a Ford or Cagney completist. Or, for whatever reason, you are a big fan of Dan Dailey. Written by the parents of Nora Ephron!
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    I came across this quite by accident last night. I was flipping channels and came across TUrner Classic Movies and this movie was being introduced. It has to be good if James Cagney is in it. Dan Dailey too? Great, two fine talents. John Ford directing? This movie has got to be great.

    I watched for about 40-45 minutes. I won't get those minutes back. What I saw was an rather silly competition over a somewhat attractive barmaid. No heat. No charisma by any of the participants. I caught the misnaming of many things like companies, calling marines "soldiers". I just was surprised with talent in this movie that something smart didn't come out of it.

    I was so ticked off I just turned off the TV. My watching of this "movie" was over in 45 minutes. I have no idea if in minute 46 on to the end they included something brilliant or not. I had to save myself. I was shocked at how worthless this movie was.

    Now, I know why this was the very first time is was going to be shown on TCM! My advice: run as far as possible away from this "movie".
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    Sadaron above the Gods

    So much has been said in the reviews to date that none of it bears repeating, but there are a couple of points one should be aware of before investing 1hr 45min into this movie. Though filmed in 1952, the style has the feel of a movie from the late 30's/early 40's with the slapstick violence, goofy foreigners, and hammy acting. I expect and tolerate these things from pre-WWII flicks, but is hard to take from something produced in the 1950's.

    As far as the anti-war element goes, this version is more of a tragic story of war than a pacifist piece. No pacifist here, but if you are looking for this from What Price Glory you'll be disappointed.
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    Ford might be best known for his Westerns, but he made nearly as many military pictures as he made Westerns (perhaps more if we were to count his cavalry pictures in the military genre). What Price Glory is a WWI picture starring James Cagney as a commanding officer. He's involved with the daughter of an innkeeper, Charmaine (Corinne Calvet), but he doesn't think he should marry her. He pushes off one of his underlings (Dan Dailey) on her, but later regrets it. There's also a nice romantic subplot involving a young Robert Wagner and a French teenager, Marisa Pavan. A lot of it works very well. I love Calvet. She's best known for her role in Anthony Mann's The Far Country, where she played the pig-tailed girl with the stocking cap who was always trying to sing for Jimmy Stewart. Oh, I know she's not a great actress, but she's so damn cute and charming. I love her character here, nice but opportunistic. The sets and cinematography are very good. The one aspect that really harms it is Dan Dailey. He gives a very weak performance and is very unsympathetic. 7/10.
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    I can't remember the silent version, which I saw years ago. I think it's probably best known for the fact that the cuss words of Captain Flagg and Sergeant Quirt were clearly discernible, even to viewers without advanced training in lip reading. I have no idea what the original play was like.

    Ford's version could be described as pointless, energetic, and at times extremely amusing. There are battle scenes, of course, because this romantic triangle between Flagg (Cagney), Quirt (Dailey), and Charmaine (Calvet) is being played out against the muddy background of World War I. But, with a few exceptions, the combat scenes, like the romance, are played for laughs. And not in the black-comedy manner of "Dr. Strangelove," either. (That sort of ridiculous tragedy might be beyond Ford's comprehension.) No, the shots of Dailey and Cagney crawling through the mud of No Man's Land with a German prisoner in tow are funny in themselves. Even when the German is killed by shell fire and Dailey is wounded.

    It's in no way a "deep" film. Nothing so banal as "war is hell." And it is certainly not one of those anti-war films in which we bleed, sometimes without purpose, but we always win in the end. Flagg's unit marches off to battle yet again, with some of the men limping from wounds and Flagg himself drunk, but there is no triumphant final clash.

    As pure entertainment, it succeeds fully. The Ephrons, who wrote the screenplay, must have had second sight into the interests and talents of Ford, Cagney, and Dailey because they're all superb. The dialog has to be heard to be enjoyed. Waving his finger as if in an Italian opera, Cagney shouts at the heroic Robert Wagner, "Boy -- I'm going to see that you are sent up for a decoration! Furthermore -- I PERSONALLY am going to give you -- TEN FRANCS!" Cagney has never given a more outrageously animated performance, brusque, stomping, marching around, fuming, looking cockeyed. All his mannerisms are here and he plays them to the hilt. Dailey is only a few steps behind him. And Corinne Calvet as the perfidious Charmaine puts what she has into the role but the character, while maddeningly flirtatious, comes across as a little insipid too. How could it be otherwise? Look at the company she's in.

    Wagner's love affair with the school-girlish Marissa Pavan is taken seriously, though, and a sappy, sentimental love song is sneaked into the script. Calvet sings a couple of period songs too, but they're mercifully brief. I never cared a fig whether Flagg or Quirt or either of them got to marry Charmaine. And the "what price glory?" speech, given by a seriously wounded Marine, is misdirected at Flagg. Whatever else Flagg may be interested in, it's not glory.

    Ford had his demons and was not an easy man to work with, or even necessarily to be acquainted with. In his memoirs, James Cagney recounts some stunt Ford had performed over and over, involving a motorcycle and sidecar plowing into a pile of manure. The gags weren't funny. They were just sadistic and dangerous. And a few years after this release, Ford called Robert Wagner into his office and asked if he was interested in the part of Martin Pawley in the upcoming "The Searchers." Wagner eagerly said yes, and Ford asked why. Wagner explained -- great script, fascinating character, and so on, until Ford replied, "That's too bad because I've already given the part to Jeffery Hunter." The disappointed Wagner was half-way out the door when Ford stopped him. "Do you REALLY want that part badly?" "Yes," said Wagner. Ford said, "But Jeffrey Hunter is going to play it." End of interview.

    Ford's Schadenfreude notwithstanding, it's hard to beat this comedy for sheer momentum. When James Gleason, as a Marine General, sweeps into Cagney's office with a map he wants Cagney to examine, the two of them simply brush all the junk on Cagney's desk onto the floor and spread out the map. What kind of mind thinks up such a gesture?
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    This patriotic war film is the bees knees for slap stick, witty comedy. The mixture of wussy brown nosing privates and annoyed sarcastic generals provides a hilarious bitter sweet feeling that can put a smile on your face. Not to mention the constant friendly rivalry between the comedic loud mouthed Captain Flagg (Cagney being Cagney), and the irritated Sergeant Quirt played by Dailey, for the cute and innocent French waitress Charmaine. This movie not only made a great world war 1 film, but proved Cagney was still his energetic, pound for pound, hard nosed self even at 53 years old. The only downside to the movie was the poorly portrayed dramatic war speeches and the failed attempts at giving a life lesson. But all around 8/10