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Arch of Triumph
     

Arch of Triumph

Director: Lewis Milestone, Stephen Bekassy, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman

Cast: Lewis Milestone, Stephen Bekassy, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman

 

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Lewis Milestone's Arch Of Triumph (1948) was notorious in its time, both as a box office failure (despite a stellar cast) and the movie that bankrupted Enterprise Studios, the independent company that had been a home to such left-leaning talents as John Garfield, Abraham Polonsky et al. The movie may have been a commercial disaster, but it isn't bad viewing --

Overview

Lewis Milestone's Arch Of Triumph (1948) was notorious in its time, both as a box office failure (despite a stellar cast) and the movie that bankrupted Enterprise Studios, the independent company that had been a home to such left-leaning talents as John Garfield, Abraham Polonsky et al. The movie may have been a commercial disaster, but it isn't bad viewing -- it may simply have been a matter of being the right movie at the wrong time, as a Casablanca-like drama of people on the run from the Nazis, produced and released at a time when the public had wearied of stories of pre-World War II intrigue and romance. The movie never made it to laserdisc, although it did show up on VHS tape, and has now reached DVD in an edition made from a restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. It's a handsome-looking presentation, the full-screen (1.33-to-1) black-and-white image showing lots of crisp detail even in the most dimly lit sequences, and the audio is mastered as a good, healthy volume. The 137 minute movie has been given a dozen chapters, which isn't really an adequate breakdown of its plot or structure, and there are no bonus features, such as a trailer or other support materials. And the disc opens automatically to a series of totally irrelevant trailers to recent Lionsgate features such as Oliver Stone's W, which must be skipped over to get to the menu for Arch of Triumph.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Without its stars, Arch of Triumph would be a terribly dull reduction of Erich Maria Remarque's complex novel into a standard Hollywood soap opera. Truth to tell, it's the kind of novel that is very hard to bring to the screen, for it features a very large cast of characters with many different, though interconnected, storylines. This density and volume are crucial to the novel's success, but trying to translate that accurately to the screen would result in a six-hour movie. So the makers of Arch did what seems the only practical thing -- concentrated on the main storyline and included only a handful of the extraneous characters. But reducing the story to its bare essentials removes the poetry and richness, leaving a plot that is perhaps of some interest but which is presented in fairly bold strokes, while making the characters into stock figures we've come across many times before. Fortunately, Charles Boyer is in very fine form as the doctor who must sacrifice love for his higher mission, and he deserves credit for keeping Arch alive. As his would-be paramour, Ingrid Bergman is a bit off her form; she's as luminous as ever and certainly as skillful, but she doesn't seem to quite connect with the character on a gut level. Charles Laughton is very far off the mark as the Nazi villain, but Louis Calhern is aces as the doorman who was once a proud Russian soldier. Lewis Milestone's direction is adequate, but much more is needed. However, he does get a grand assist from the beautiful chiaroscuro cinematography of Russell Metty.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2008
UPC:
0017153100044
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Republic Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:03:00

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Stephen Bekassy Alex
Charles Boyer Dr. Ravic
Ingrid Bergman Joan Madou
Roman Bohnen Dr. Veber
Curt Bois Tattooed Waiter
Charles Laughton Haake
Louis Calhern Morosow
J. Edward Bromberg Hotel Manager
Michael Romanoff Alidze
Hazel Brooks Sybil
Ruth Warrick Kate Hergstroem
William Conrad Official
Franco Corsaro Novarro
Byron Foulger Policeman
Jay Gilpin Refugee Boy
Alvin Hammer Milan Porter
Ilia Khmara Russian Singer
John Laurenz Col. Gomez
Leon Lenoir Capt. Spanish
Andre Marsaudon Roulette Croupier
Ruth Nelson Madame Fessler
Nino Pipitone General's Aide
Art Smith Inspector
Peter Virgo Polansky

Technical Credits
Lewis Milestone Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Harry Brown Screenwriter
Mario Castegnaro Editor
Louis Gruenberg Score Composer
David Lewis Producer
Duncan Mansfield Editor
William Cameron Menzies Production Designer
Russell Metty Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Arch of Triumph
1. Main Title - Arch of Triumph [10:51]
2. You Can Sleep Here [14:56]
3. What's Your Name? [9:46]
4. Salute! [12:35]
5. What is It? [11:18]
6. I'm a Refugee [11:15]
7. Letters Never Help [2:23]
8. I Thought You Had Come Back [9:27]
9. You Understand [7:26]
10. I Had to See You [9:46]
11. Drive Back! [8:59]
12. Will You Stay With Me? [13:08]

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