What Price Glory?

( 2 )

Overview

James Cagney signed on to play Captain Flagg in 20th Century Fox's 1952 remake of the 1926 classic What Price Glory after being told that the old property was being converted into a musical. By the time Cagney learned that Fox had no intention of adding songs and dances to the venerable Maxwell Anderson/Laurence Stallings stage piece, it was too late to pull out, so he decided to grin sometimes and bear it. Under the direction of John Ford, the potent anti-war message of the original play is blunted, while the ...
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Overview

James Cagney signed on to play Captain Flagg in 20th Century Fox's 1952 remake of the 1926 classic What Price Glory after being told that the old property was being converted into a musical. By the time Cagney learned that Fox had no intention of adding songs and dances to the venerable Maxwell Anderson/Laurence Stallings stage piece, it was too late to pull out, so he decided to grin sometimes and bear it. Under the direction of John Ford, the potent anti-war message of the original play is blunted, while the drunken rowdiness of Capt. Flagg and his friendly enemy Sergeant Quirt Dan Dailey was played for all it was worth and then some. Much of the brawling is over the affections of vivacious barmaid Charmaine, played by Corinne Calvet. Contrasting the rough-hewn hijinks of Flagg, Quirt and their fellow Marines on the fields and in the villages of World War I-era France is the doomed romance between private Robert Wagner and French lass Marisa Pavan. Why does Wagner get to sing, while Cagney and Dailey do not? Barry Norton, who played Wagner's role in the original What Price Glory? appears in the remake as a priest. Norton is unbilled, as are such familiar faces as Harry Morgan, Paul Fix, Henry Kulky, and John Ford "regulars" Dan Borzage and Bill Henry. Falling well short of classic status, the Technicolor remake of What Price Glory? is kept alive by the marvelous roughneck rapport between James Cagney and Dan Dailey.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The idea of making a musical out of What Price Glory? -- as was the original intent -- is very strange, but it might have made for a more interesting film. Director John Ford rebelled against the idea although there are a few brief musical moments that remain in the finished product, but he didn't come up with a fresh new take on the material that justified remaking it in the first place. Instead, Ford has diminished a great deal of the original's anti-war message, leaving a war-based comedy about two bickering rivals who vie for the affection of both the men under their command and the woman of whom they would like to take command. Unfortunately, the comedy is hardly as fresh as it needs to be, and it doesn't mesh with the more serious segments that deal directly with the war, giving the film a somewhat schizophrenic feeling. Shooting almost entirely on a soundstage, Ford isn't able to indulge his penchant for sweeping vistas and Glory thus feels rather cramped. What Glory does have working in its favor is its cast, led by the friendly and sometimes not-so-friendly brawling of James Cagney and Dan Dailey, who evince a positively bracing chemistry. Cagney is occasionally a trifle over the top, but endearingly so, and he and Dailey provide a great deal of energy that helps propel the film forward. A very young Robert Wagner is quite good except when forced to utter the line which gives the film its title, Corinne Calvet possesses looks that make one immediately understand the ardor with which she is suited, and William Demarest and James Gleason add valuable color. What Price Glory? misses the mark quite often, but its cast helps to redeem its missteps.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/1998
  • UPC: 086162128530
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Cagney Capt. Flagg
Dan Dailey Sgt. Quirt
Corinne Calvet Charmaine
William Demarest Corporal Kiper
Craig Hill Lt. Aldrich
Robert Wagner Lewisohn
Marisa Pavan Nicole Bouchard
Casey Adams Lt. Moore
James Gleason Gen. Cokely
Wally Vernon Lipinsky
Henri Letondal Cognac Pete
Fred Libby Lt. Schmidt
Ray Hyke Mulcahy
Paul Fix Gowdy
James Lilburn Young soldier
Danny Borzage Gilbert
Henry Kulky Company cook
Jack Pennick Ferguson
Stanley E. Johnson Lt. Cunningham
Ann Codee Nun
Tom Tyler Capt. Davis
Barry Norton Priest
Luis Alberni The Great Uncle
Torben Meyer Mayor
Alfred Zeisler English colonel
George Bruggeman English lieutenant
Scott Forbes Lt. Bennett
Sean McClory Lt. Austin
Charles Fitzsimmons Capt. Wickham
Louis Mercier Bouchard
Mickey Simpson Military policeman
Paul Guilfoyle
William Henry Holsen
Henry Morgan Sgt. Moran
Peter Ortiz
Ed Begley Sr.
Technical Credits
John Ford Director
Billy Daniel Choreography
George W. Davis Set Decoration/Design
Henry Ephron Screenwriter
Phoebe Ephron Screenwriter
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
Stuart A. Reiss Set Decoration/Design
Sol C. Siegel Producer
Dorothy Spencer Editor
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best War Movie Ever Made

    This is by far the best war movie ever made. Note that I said the "best" and not the "greatest" or " most dramatic" or most bloody" or any other of many such possible statements I could have used. Just the "best" war movie ever made. Cagney, Daily and the rest of the cast give a wonderful performance of a very well written story which catches for all time the essence of the pre-World War II United States Marine Corps. But it, put it on and set back and watch some of greatest actors that ever lived at work. I guarantee you will enjoy every minute of it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews