Wooden Crosses

Director: Raymond Bernard
Year Released: 1932
Rating: 2.0

World War I saga - similar, but not quite to the level of All Quiet on the Western Front - shows the French actively recruiting troops and then dumping them into the grizzly hell of combat, which is equal amounts death and downtime (to look at pictures of girlfriends and wives, to smoke and to fret). The picture tries to juggle too many characters and does a poor job of defining them - when they aren't jawing at each other they're running through (the obvious) sets dodging fire: it's more stage play than 'film.' Isn't nearly as layered as the Remarque adaptation, which remains a vital entry in the Great War Movies canon, but it does have - for theatre buffs and fans of the clinically insane - a very 'unique' performance by Antonin Artaud (better known for his theories than his acting).