Les Croix de bois (Wooden Crosses) (1932)

Les Croix de bois (Wooden Crosses)


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Movie Info

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. Set during WWI, the story concentrates on a handful of French draftees, including an idealistic student named Demachy (Pierre Blanchard). … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Raymond Bernard, Roland Dorgelès
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 17, 2007
Criterion Collection



as Gilbert Demachy

as Sulphart

as Caporal Breval

as Fouillard

as Vieuble

as Vairon

as Le Capitaine

as Bouffioux

as Lemoine
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Critic Reviews for Les Croix de bois (Wooden Crosses)

All Critics (1)

Countless films declare 'war is hell', but few do so with as much bitter veracity as Wooden Crosses.

Full Review… | March 31, 2015
The Skinny

Audience Reviews for Les Croix de bois (Wooden Crosses)

No matter how well intentioned socially conscious movies may be, they have a tendency to age very badly due to societal norms constantly shifting.(So, relax, those of you who hate "Crash."(2005)) For example, look at the topic of gay marriage. Were we even discussing this ten years ago?

War in all of its lunacy and immense waste of human life is sadly the exception. And that is even taking in consideration how much warfare has changed since the gritty "Wooden Crosses" was made in 1932. It starts on a giddy note, as the French populace is excited at the prospect of going to war against Germany in World War I. The movie focuses on one of the enlistees, Gilbert Demachy(Pierre Blanchar), a law student, as he fights alongside a group of other soldiers. As time wears on, their high spirits wane as conditions get increasingly worse and the casualties mount. Oh and did I mention the lice? That is nothing compared to the knocking the soldiers hear which can only mean the Germans are tunneling under them to place a mine. As bad as that may sound, I have rarely seen anything as agonizing as the ending. There can be little worse than that.

(Originally reviewed in the blog section on February 27, 2009.)

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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