First World War (1934) - Rotten Tomatoes

First World War (1934)

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Playwright-journalist Laurence Stallings, himself a battle-scarred WWI veteran, served as editor and overall guiding spirit for this feature-length documentary. Digging deeply into archival footage, The First World War tells the story of the tragic 1914-18 conflict largely through images. Indeed, there are several scenes in which narrator Pedro de Cordoba utters not a word, allowing the horror of what is parading across the screen to silently seep into the viewer's consciousness. The "War is Hell" message comes through loud and clear, as does the producers' unadorned admiration for the brave men who fought and died. Certain episodes in The First World War were borrowed from files of the British War Museum, including the famous "over the top" assault that has since been discredited as a staged sequence.

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