Journey's End (1930 film)
|Directed by||James Whale|
|Produced by||George Pearson|
|Written by||R. C. Sherriff (play)
Joseph Moncure March
|Cinematography||Benjamin H. Kline|
|Edited by||Claude Berkeley|
|Distributed by||Tiffany Pictures (US)
Woolf & Freedman Film Service (UK)
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 army officers 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.
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. The two men knew each other at school: the younger Raleigh hero-worshipping Stanhope, while Stanhope has come to love Raleigh's sister. But the Stanhope whom Raleigh encounters now is a changed man who, after three years at the front, has turned to drink and seems close to a breakdown. Stanhope is terrified that Raleigh will betray Stanhope's decline to his sister, whom Stanhope still hopes to marry after the war. An older officer, the avuncular 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 a number of the British forces are killed, including Osborne. Later, when Raleigh too is mortally wounded, Stanhope faces a desperate time as, grief-stricken and without close friends, he prepares to face another furious enemy attack.
- Colin Clive – Capt. Denis Stanhope
- Ian Maclaren – Lt. Osborne
- David Manners – 2nd Lt. Raleigh
- Billy Bevan – 2nd Lt. Trotter
- Anthony Bushell – 2nd Lt. Hibbert
- Robert Adair – Capt. Hardy
- Charles K. Gerrard – Pvt. Mason
- Tom Whiteley – Sergeant Major
- Jack Pitcairn – Colonel
- Werner Klingler – German prisoner
- Gil Perkins – Sgt. Cox
- Leslie Sketchley – Cpl. Ross
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 film.
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.
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