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Posted October 1, 2010
Any Price But This!
'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 the directorial giant likes of 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, Charmaine (Corrine Calvert) - stop me if you've heard this one before. Strong performances elevate this film above the tripe that - generally - it is. The transfer is 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. As with the other war films in this batch from Fox, you get nothing to augment your experience. '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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