19 MARCH 1927, Page 12

The Cinema

[4` WHAT PRICE GLORY."] Arrpt much advance advertising, the new film, What Price Glory, now appears at the Plaza. And it proves to be strangely unequal. Taken by and long, What Price Glory is a rather sincere, rather heroic, picture which does attempt to portray one corner of life accurately. The picture tells of the leisure, the rivalries and loves of a professional soldier in the United States Army. No one imagines that soldiers, save perhaps when on leave with thek relations, are pet lambs. This picture shows them as hard-drinking, vigorously profane and half- civilized giants who turn from the grime and the blood of warfare to the soft arms of light ladies as to their proper sanctuary. It is impossible not to like them, and quite unnecessary to be shocked by them.

Two of them stand out. Sergeant Flagg, afterwards pro- moted Captain, is a hulk of a fellow, with a smashed face and a natural genius for leadership. His rival, Sergeant Quirt, is handsome and also the battalion's crack revolver-shot and card-sharper. Time and again they find themselves in pursuit, and even in conquest, of the same lady, though Flagg woos by displaying his biceps and presenting garters, and Quirt by

sauciness. Time and again they quarrel : they both like and loathe each other.

Behind their rivalry there is the grim background of the War—not horrible enough to frighten the public as it ought, but still horrible. Young boys die, older men go raving mad: there are some magnificent pictures and one of a corner of a battlefield cemetery, just bayonets sticking in the ground, and here and there a tin hat stuck atop, which is terribly eloquent.

Taken in detail, What Price Glory comes out in spots of sobbing sentiment now and then, is very slow in places, eon. tains absurd travesties of French country-folk and horrible " flash-backs " of white-haired mothers stroking their artist. sons' hair. Against that, it contains the incredibly convincing performances of Victor McLaglan and Edmund Lowe as the two soldier-heroes, and occasionally it has greatness. The " discovery " of the garters on Quirt's arms, the card-game, Flagg shoving his way down the trenches are magnificent. But it is not a film for children.