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The Cross of Lorraine (1943)

Approved | | War, Drama | 12 November 1943 (USA)
A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.

Director:

Tay Garnett

Writers:

Michael Kanin (screenplay), Ring Lardner Jr. (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Paul Duprez (as Jean Pierre Aumont)
Gene Kelly ... Victor
Cedric Hardwicke ... Father Sebastian (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Richard Whorf ... François
Joseph Calleia ... Rodriguez
Peter Lorre ... Sergeant Berger
Hume Cronyn ... Duval
William Roy William Roy ... Louis (as Billy Roy)
Tonio Selwart Tonio Selwart ... Major Bruhl
Jack Lambert ... Jacques
Wallace Ford ... Pierre
Donald Curtis ... Marcel
Jack Edwards Jr. Jack Edwards Jr. ... René
Richard Ryen ... Lieutenant Schmidt
Frederick Giermann Frederick Giermann ... Corporal Daxer
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Storyline

With the onset of World War II, Frenchmen from all walks of life enlist in the army. The war is short-lived however as the Nazis quickly defeat them and Marshall Petain signs a peace agreement with the invaders. The troops surrender but rather that being repatriated to their homes as expected, they all find themselves in a military prison. Conditions are difficult with little food and poor medical conditions. The men resist as best they can and for some, like Paul, they are prepared to spend time in solitary confinement and be subjected to beatings if need be. For others, such as Duval, collaboration with their Nazi jailers is the route to an easier life. The men find solace in the company of Father Sebastian, a priest who was also in the army. He counsels them wisely and in the case of Paul, gives him strength to face the daily challenge of simply living. When Paul gets an opportunity however, he helps his fellow prisoners escape. When they liberate a village, they all realize that ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MGM's Drama of the Fighting French! See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

12 November 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Shall Fall See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Thursday 1 November 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Seattle 24 November 1956 on KING (Channel 5); its initial airing in New York City took place Sunday 17 March 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), followed by both Chicago and Minneapolis 5 May 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2) and KMGM (Channel 9), by Philadelphia 15 June 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Altoona PA 22 September 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10) and by San Francisco 3 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

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User Reviews

 
Jean-Pierre Aumont as the only Frenchman in a French war prisoner film
28 June 2018 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

The film is hopelessly marred and scarred by its propaganda nature, which brands it with a character that debases it for history when the war once is over, which is a pity, for it's a great story with great actors, who all do their best, and there are some instances which are more realism than propaganda, especially towards the end, as the intrigue thickens, when prisoners start to escape.

It's Jean-Pierre Aumont's film, he is the most interesting character, as you never really know where you have him, as he constantly has to change footing according to what is happening around him, while finally his character emerges in full glory. Gene Kelly is also quite good as an impossible slugger who is completely quashed by Peter Lorre and his Germans, but his annihilation is not quite complete. You can't keep down Gene Kelly for long.

It's the boy in the end who introduces the cross of Lorraine and lifts the whole performance to a higher level. This is very far from one of the best war films, but it certainly has some good scenes worth seeing.


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