Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
A troubled production that suffered from both severe cuts and retakes under a different director (Edward H. Griffith), this World War I melodrama fell far short of becoming another All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) as had obviously been the original intention. Told in flashbacks, the antiwar drama stars William Boyd as Sergeant Bill Thatcher, the head of an American battalion fighting for control of a French village. As Thatcher listens, three wounded soldiers under his command recall how they came to the battlefields of World War I: A farm boy, Bud (Russell Gleason), defied his mother (Mary Carr) and enlisted despite being the family's sole breadwinner; a New York playboy, trapped between two women, Ina (Marion Shilling), his newest conquest, and a former mistress, Lew (Lew Cody), sought the easy way out by enlisting; finally, Private Jim Mobley (James Gleason) tells the heartfelt story of how his wife, "Mademoiselle" Fritzi (ZaSu Pitts), a carnival knife thrower, got very upset when he decided to escape housekeeping duties by joining the army. Back on the battlefield, Jim finds Bill at the machine gun, where the latter finally tells his own story of how he came to hate his German-born fiancée, Katherine (Lissi Arna), when she warned him of the futility of war. Before blowing up a railroad bridge, Bill admits to Jim that he now fully understands Katherine's sentiments. Wounded in the battle, both soldiers end up in a German Red Cross hospital where Bill is reunited with Katherine.
war, woman, front-line, home, love, military, soldier