Journey's End (1930 film)

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Journey's End
Theatrical poster
Directed by James Whale
Produced by George Pearson
Written by R. C. Sherriff (play)
Joseph Moncure March
Starring Colin Clive
Ian Maclaren
David Manners
Cinematography Benjamin H. Kline
Edited by Claude Berkeley
Distributed by Tiffany Pictures (US)
Woolf & Freedman Film Service (UK)
Release date(s) April 14, 1930 (UK)
April 15, 1930 (US)
Running time 156 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States

Journey's End is a 1930 British-American war film directed by James Whale. Based on the play of the same name by R. C. Sherriff, the film tells the story of several British soldiers involved in trench warfare during the First World War. The film, like the play before it, was an enormous critical and commercial success and launched the film careers of Whale and several of its stars.

The following year there was a German film version Die andere Seite directed by Heinz Paul starring Conrad Veidt as Stanhope and Wolfgang Liebeneiner as Raleigh. The film was banned just weeks after the Nazis took power in 1933.

In 1976, the film was remade as Aces High with the scenario of the play and 1930 film shifted to the British Royal Flying Corps.

Main characters Colin Clive and Ian Maclaren


On the eve of a battle in 1918, a new officer, Second Lieutenant Raleigh (David Manners), joins Captain Stanhope's (Colin Clive) company in the British trench lines in France. While the two men knew each other at school, Stanhope loves Raleigh's sister. Raleigh sees a changed man, who after three years at the front, is on the verge of a breakdown and has turned to drink. A fellow officer, Lieutenant Osborne (Ian Maclaren) desperately tries to keep Stanhope from cracking. Osborne and Raleigh are selected to lead a raiding party on the German trenches where many soldiers are killed, including Osborne. Although he resents the younger man, when Raleigh is mortally wounded, the commander faces a desperate time, friendless and grief-stricken, he prepares to face another furious enemy attack.



When Howard Hughes made the decision to turn Hell's Angels into a talkie, he hired a then-unknown James Whale, who had just arrived in Hollywood following a successful turn directing the play Journey's End in London and on Broadway, to direct the talking sequences; it was Whale's film debut, and arguably prepared him for the later success he would have with the feature version of Journey's End, Waterloo Bridge, and, most famously, the 1931 version of Frankenstein. Unhappy with the script, Whale brought in Joseph Moncure March to re-write it. Hughes later gave March the Luger pistol used in the famous execution scene of the film's ending.[1]

With production delayed while Hughes tinkered with the flying scenes in Hell's Angels, Whale managed to shoot his film adaptation of Journey's End and have it come out a month before Hell's Angels was released. The gap between completion of the dialogue scenes and completion of the aerial combat stunts allowed Whale to be paid, sail back to England, and begin work on the subsequent project, making Whale's actual (albeit uncredited) cinema debut, his "second" film to be released.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Curtis 1998, p. 86.
  • Curtis, James. James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters. Boston: Faber and Faber,1998. ISBN 0-571-19285-8.
  • Dolan, Edward F. Jr. Hollywood Goes to War. London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN 0-86124-229-7.
  • Hardwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. "A Viewer's Guide to Aviation Movies". The Making of the Great Aviation Films, General Aviation Series, Volume 2, 1989.
  • Orriss, Bruce. When Hollywood Ruled the Skies: The Aviation Film Classics of World War II. Hawthorne, California: Aero Associates Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-9613088-0-X.
  • Osborne, Robert. 65 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards London: Abbeville Press, 1994. ISBN 1-55859-715-8.
  • "Production of 'Hell's Angels' Cost the Lives of Three Aviators." Syracuse Herald, December 28, 1930, p. 59.
  • Robertson, Patrick. Film Facts. New York: Billboard Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8230-7943-0.

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