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The Road Back (1937)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 1 June 1937 (USA)
After World War I, a group of former German soldiers try to adjust to civilian life.

Director:

James Whale

Writers:

Charles Kenyon (screenplay), Erich Maria Remarque (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John 'Dusty' King ... Ernst (as John King)
Richard Cromwell ... Ludwig
Slim Summerville ... Tjaden
Andy Devine ... Willy
Barbara Read ... Lucy
Louise Fazenda ... Angelina
Noah Beery Jr. ... Wessling
Maurice Murphy ... Albert
John Emery ... Captain Von Hagen
Etienne Girardot ... Mayor
Lionel Atwill ... Prosecutor
Henry Hunter Henry Hunter ... Bethke
Larry J. Blake ... Weil (as Larry Blake)
Gene Garrick ... Giesicke
Marilyn Harris ... Maria - Ernst's Sister
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Storyline

At the end of the world war, several German soldiers return home to their city to find the social fabric and civil order disintegrating as communist gangs roam the streets and food and jobs become scarce. Riots and massacres lead the erstwhile average men to become cynical and desperate. Written by WesternOne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FAREWELL WESTERN FRONT - HAIL YOUTH...AND LOVE! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal Pictures production number 865. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Mademoiselle from Armentieres
(1919) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Tunbridge
See more »

User Reviews

 
A great requiem for a lost war - and a warning for another
18 April 2020 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

The first part of the film is definitely a masterpiece, with extremely touching scenes from the trenches and unforgettable sequences of the armistice, how it happened and how it was experienced by the soldiers. I never read the book, but naturally the soldiers encounter problems when they are obliged to readjust to peace time life at home among gross political disturbances, introducing new conflicts galore, and here obviously the director had some difficulties keeping up the intensity of the film, as some ladies in action caused some disturbance both to the soldiers and to the film. Nevertheless, the end riot scenes of the film are magnificent and impressing, and the final court proceedings provide a sad finale to the destiny of these soldiers alienated from normal reality, so habituated to handle constant slaughter at war, and so incapable of handling banal crises at home. The spirit of Remarque nevertheless sustains the entire movie, all his stories made as great films as novels, and although this is not the best Remarque film and novel, it certainly is important and ranks as such in the canon. This film is extra added to in quality by Dimitri Tiomkin's very approppriate and inspired music.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Road Back See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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