King Vidor earned his reputation as a great director with this stunning antiwar film, now one of the classics of silent cinema. Containing realistic, remarkably staged battle sequences and moments of powerful drama, the film follows a naïve American soldier from the thrill of small-town enlistment rallies to the grim reality of trench warfare in France. Vidor skillfully weaves humor and sentiment throughout, and the film’s blend of emotion helped it become one of the most successful silent films ever. It also set the template for American films about modern warfare.
Live musical accompaniment by Robert Humphreville