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Wooden Crosses

Wooden Crosses

A Feature film by Raymond Bernard

Produced by Pathé-Natan

Release in France : 17/03/1932

    Synopsis

    Set during WWI, the story concentrates on a handful of French draftees, including an idealistic student named Demachy (Pierre Blanchard). Marching off to war with joyful patriotic fervor, the men are quickly disillusioned by the appalling realities of total warfare. When they aren't enduring ten nonstop days of enemy bombardment, the soldiers must sweat out the horrible realization that their trenches are being mined from underground. Nor are they given any relief during those rare lulls in fighting. At one point, the men are yanked away from a much-needed furlough to march in a victory parade for the entertainment of their callous, fat-cat superior officers. One by one, the men are killed off, until only Demachy remains -- but, tragically, not for long.

    Actors (16)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Executive Producer :

    Pathé-Natan

    French distribution :

    Pathé-Natan

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Pathé Distribution

    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    Subject

    Les Croix de Bois (Wooden Crosses) may well be the most powerful anti-war film ever made; certainly it is the grimmest and most uncompromising. Starting with an impressionistic shot of a gloomy hillside studded with white grave markings, the film delineates the hopelessness and horror of war in such explicit terms that at times it's nearly impossible to watch.

    Such was the impact of Les Croix de Bois, that, when it was shown on French television in the 1970s, a WWI survivor who watched the film for the first time was so overwhelmed by despair that he committed suicide. Generous portions of the film's battle sequences were later incorporated in the 1934 John Ford film The World Moves On and the 1936 Howard Hawks production The Road to Glory.

    Full credits (10)

    Assistant Director :

    Lucienne Grumberg

    Dialogue Writers :

    André Lang, Raymond Bernard

    Screenwriters :

    Roland Dorgelès, André Lang

    Sound recordists :

    Antoine Archimbaud, Reginald Campbell, Roger Loisel

    Editor :

    Lucienne Grumberg

    Adapters/dialogue writers :

    Raymond Bernard, André Lang

    Author of original work :

    Roland Dorgelès

    Director of Photography :

    Jules Kruger

    Camera Operator :

    René Masson

    Production Designer :

    Jean Perrier

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Sub-genre :

    Drama, War

    Production language :

    French

    Original French-language productions :

    Unknown

    Nationality :

    100% French

    Production year :

    1931

    French release :

    17/03/1932

    Runtime :

    1 h 50 min

    Current status :

    Released

    Visa number :

    13220

    Visa issue date :

    28/08/1952

    Approval :

    Yes

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Color type :

    Black & White

    Aspect ratio :

    1.37

    Audio format :

    Mono