Three Comrades

Overview

Based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, Three Comrades represented one of the few successful screenwriting efforts of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in Germany in the years just following World War I, the film stars Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone and Robert Young as three battle-weary, thoroughly disillusioned returning soldiers. The three friends pool their savings and open an auto-repair shop, and it is this that brings them in contact with wealthy motorist Lionel Atwill--and with Atwill's lovely travelling companion...
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Overview

Based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, Three Comrades represented one of the few successful screenwriting efforts of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in Germany in the years just following World War I, the film stars Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone and Robert Young as three battle-weary, thoroughly disillusioned returning soldiers. The three friends pool their savings and open an auto-repair shop, and it is this that brings them in contact with wealthy motorist Lionel Atwill--and with Atwill's lovely travelling companion Margaret Sullavan. Taylor begins a romance with Sullavan, who soon joins the three comrades, making the group a jovial, fun-seeking foursome this plot element bears traces of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, as well as the 1931 film The Last Flight. Though Sullavan suffers from tuberculosis her shady past is only alluded to, she is encouraged by her male companions to fully enjoy what is left of her life. This becomes increasingly difficult when one of the comrades, Young, is killed during a political riot it's a Nazi riot, though not so-labelled by ever-careful MGM. In the end, the four comrades are only two in number, with nothing but memories to see them through the cataclysmic years to come. Despite its Hollywoodized bowdlerization of the Remarque original, Three Comrades remains a poignant, haunting experience.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although a great deal of F. Scott Fitzgerald's screenplay for Three Comrades was rewritten (by both credited scenarist Edward E. Paramore, Jr. and a number of uncredited writers, including producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz), the spirit of Fitzgerald hovers palpably over this excellent adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque novel. Comrades is about another group of lost souls, and if only one of them has a connection to the privileged class that is often a Fitzgerald hallmark, they all share an obsession with escaping from the past and with finding a "Good" within and among themselves to take the place of an absent "god." There's the potential for all this to come across as pretentious or off-putting, but in fact Three Comrades is simple and totally involving. The characters live and breathe with a wonderful cinematic realism, and most viewers will soon find themselves quite wrapped up in their stories. A large part of the credit must go to Frank Borzage, who directs with a combination of strength and sensitivity and always keeps the film firmly on track, even making moving and inspirational an ending that could come across as hokey or mawkish . He's enormously helped by a quartet of actors who do exceptional work. Each of the stars commits him/herself completely to the part, making each character beautifully real. Equally important, there's an indescribable chemistry between the quartet as a whole and between each individual member. Comrades is a haunting, moving, deeply human film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2009
  • UPC: 883316127230
  • Original Release: 1938
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 48,515

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Taylor Erich Lohkamp
Margaret Sullavan Pat Hollmann
Franchot Tone Otto Koster
Robert Young Gottfried Lenz
Guy Kibbee Alfons
Lionel Atwill Franz Breuer
Henry Hull Dr. Heinrich Becker
Charles Grapewin Local Doctor
Monty Woolley Dr. Jaffe
Ricca Allen Housekeeper
Walter Bonn Adjutant
Harvey Clark Bald-Headed Man
Roger Converse Becker's Assistant
Donald Haines Comic
Ted Offenbecker Adolph
E. Alyn Warren Bookstore Owner
Norman Willis
Jessie Arnold Nurse
Barbara Bedford Rita
Henry Brandon Man with Patch
George Chandler First Comic
Spencer Charters Herr Schultz
William Haade Younger Vogt man
Priscilla Lawson Frau Brunner
Mitchell Lewis Boris
Marjorie Main Old Woman
Claire McDowell Frau Zalewska
Edward McWade Major Domo
Esther Muir Frau Schmidt
Ferdinand Munier Burgomaster
Sarah Padden Frau Schultz
Leonard Penn Tony
Phillip Terry Young Soldier
Morgan Wallace Owner of Wrecked Car
George Zucco Dr. Plauten
George Offerman Adolph
Ralph Bushman Comic
Technical Credits
Frank Borzage Director
F. Scott Fitzgerald Screenwriter
George Forrest Songwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Paul Groesse Art Director
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Producer
Edward E. Paramore Jr. Screenwriter
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
Frank Sullivan Editor
Franz Waxman Score Composer, Songwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Robert Wright Songwriter
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