SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6899
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostSun Sep 12, 2010 9:02 pm

Well this was a fascinating film, at least what's left of it. My copy ran 42 minutes of a film that was originaly about 100 minutes and silent.

Apparently it was turned into a "goat gland" with talking sequences and sound effects and then even the intertitles were excised. What's left is a mess really. The storyline is nearly incomprehensible but Eleanor Boardman follows her man off to the First World War disguised as a man. She experiences war first hand.

Still there are a few superb sequences that remain and stand by themselves. Alma Rubens, looking haggard, is terrific as she sings "There Is a Happy Land" to some soldiers. Later she pretends to be a dying soldier's mother and reprises the song. The other great sequence involves the German scorching the earth as tanks slowly SLOWLY roll thru the flames, just about roasting all onboard (including Boardman).

I don't think Boardman utters a spoken word here but she does get to scream. Al St. John provides the comic relief which seems to mainly concern his thinking Boardman in drag is actually a young gay man.

My guess is this was meant to be a "big" picture for Inspiration Pictures and was directed by Henry King. This is Alma Rubens' final film appearance. A decade before this she was Cosmopolitan's big dark-haired star. Their blonde was Marion Davies.

Anyone have any stories about this film?
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline
User avatar

greta de groat

  • Posts: 2010
  • Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
  • Location: California

PostSun Sep 12, 2010 9:49 pm

I posted my thoughts on this bizarre, nightmarish film on AMS a few years back:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.movi ... c1725da47c

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6899
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

PostMon Sep 13, 2010 5:17 am

Greta we had the same questions and reactions.

I wonder if the intertitles or notes on them exist anywhere?

A poster I found online for this film lists Eleanor Boardman and Alma Rubens as stars with John Holland and Al St. John billed below them. The tagline reads: The epic of woman's imperishable part in the Great Conflict.

Yet the opening credits for this re-relase list Boardman on top alone with John Holland and Edmund Burns beneath her and Al St. John and Yola D'Avril beneath them. Rubens isn't even mentioned. This version is also "presented" by John Boyce-Smith and Mitchell Leichter, who are not mentioned on the poster. I assume they owned Inspiration Pictures?

My copy does not have end credits, so Rubens is not mentioned at all....
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6899
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

PostMon Sep 13, 2010 5:33 am

SilentEra says a 16mm reduction positive exists at the EmGee Film Library.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline

moviepas

  • Posts: 977
  • Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:51 am

She Goes to War

PostTue Sep 14, 2010 4:02 am

Murray Glass of Glenn Photo Supply did indeed have this film in 16mm during the 1970s. Thus the EmGee Library name. I got a copy from him in 16mm but I don't know what happened to the print. I sold Murray's films in Australia at the time. I did see the film but I remember little about it at this time. I did know about the sound sequences.
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6899
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

PostTue Sep 14, 2010 5:37 am

Yes it seems they may have a a 16mm version but the 2003 catalog, the latest I could find, didn't list the length of the film.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9060
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

PostTue Sep 14, 2010 10:51 am

His listing shows six reels:

SHE GOES TO WAR (1929) 6 Fs - D
(Dir. by HENRY KING; With ELEANOR BOARDMAN, ALMA
RUBENS, AL ST. JOHN)
A "lost" and rediscovered film by one of the all-time great directors!
It is the story of a young society girl who goes to France as a lark, to
be a nurse during W.W. I. Through a series of events, she discovers
the horrors of war at first hand.
A powerful anti-war film, it has some incredibly effective battle
scenes, most notably when a group of tanks crashes forward through
a literal wall of flame! A very rare and unusual film.


Reel Images also sold it in the 1970s, and they listed it as 50 minutes. They were probably just distributing the EmGee film.
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6899
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

PostTue Sep 14, 2010 10:54 am

Yup I see that now.... I wasn't reading the catalog right...

What a shame this film is probably mostly lost.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2746
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostFri May 23, 2014 3:24 pm

I was very interested in this thread having heard of SHE GOES TO WAR some years ago but knowing damn-all about it until this shortened re-issue turned up. So far I've only watched it on our laptop, and agree it was somewhat confusing. Whether it will seem clearer on my next go remains to be seen...

And has a longer print turned up yet? I looked it up online and the Wikipedia article gave no mention of the abridgement or even that there was sound. Possibly it was converted in mid-stream or after initial showings as were OUR DAILY BREAD / CITY GIRL, THE FLYING SCOTSMAN and others. At least it's nice to have something...
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5181
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostFri May 23, 2014 3:51 pm

I saw a butchered silent version about twenty years ago. Although I have no clear memory of it because it was such a mess, I have the rough impression that it was a Videobrary VCR, which means it probably had that drop needle score with a version of Jelly Roll Morton's Billy Goat Stomp & Sidewalk Blues repeated ad nauseam well before they had been cleaned up by Davies and reissued as part of a lovely six-cd set. Those always sounded as if someone had tried to scour out the record scratches with Brillo. The film itself I recall as one of those six-generation dupes that looked like the guy making the print was blind and undergoing a grand mal seizure.

These small imperfections (for the era these were small) might have resulted in my lack of enthusiasm for the movie, but it's one of the reasons why when I read about people complaining about the quality of a movie on dvd I am not particularly sympathetic.

Next up: the copy of Metropolis when I first saw it at an sf convention in 1973. It was a Swank print that seemed to have been in continuous circulation since the late 1930s.....


Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed May 28, 2014 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

-- Dorothy Sayers
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2746
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostFri May 23, 2014 4:09 pm

Reminds me of seeing a vhs of Chaney's HUNCHBACK at a friend's place. It had a pretty reasonable musical accompaniment to start with, but unfortunately after about half-a-dozen tracks it began to repeat... and repeat... and by about the fourth or fifth time my friend and I were helpless with laughter.

I have a feeling it was on the Eureka! label. If so, I hope this fault wasn't repeated on the dvd otherwise I daren't play it for fear of my hernia coming back...
Offline

Mr. Bear

  • Posts: 46
  • Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:38 pm
  • Location: Wilmington Delaware

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostSun May 25, 2014 7:00 pm

boblipton wrote:I saw a butchered silent version about twenty years ago. Although I have no clear memory of it because it was such a mess, I have the rough impression that it was a Videobrary VCR, which means it probably had that drop needle score with a version of Jelly Roll Morton's [b]Billy Goat Stomp & Sidewalk Blues repeated ad nauseam well before they had been cleaned up by Davies and reissued as part of a lovely six-cd set. Those always sounded as if someone had tried to scour out the record scratches with Brillo. [/b]
Bob


I have a lot of those crappy Madacy Chaplin and Arbuckle DVD sets where they use the same Jelly Roll Morton music but have gone one step further, the played the entire disc of "Birth of the Hot" from start to finish. Complete with all the spoken sections intact. I'm surprised that RCA/Sony doesn't send a layer to them to pony up. Jelly Roll Morton's music works fine for slapstick, but not with a drama like "She Goes To War".
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5181
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostSun May 25, 2014 7:05 pm

Madacy ripped off a lot of movies for their catalogue, I believe, which means it was a 7th generation dupe....

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

-- Dorothy Sayers
Offline

silentmovies742

  • Posts: 513
  • Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:42 am

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostWed May 28, 2014 10:36 am

There is indeed a fifty minute print in circulation amongst collectors.
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9060
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostWed May 28, 2014 5:13 pm

Reel Images and Murray Glass' EmGee both sold 16mm prints of the 50 minute version.
Offline
User avatar

azjazzman

  • Posts: 770
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:04 pm

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostWed May 28, 2014 5:39 pm

silentfilm wrote:Reel Images and Murray Glass' EmGee both sold 16mm prints of the 50 minute version.


EmGee was the rental side of Murray's film business. The sales side was Glenn Photo Supply. I would imagine that Reel Images was selling the Glenn Photo print. It sticks in my mind that Griggs Moviedrome had this title as well, but I could be mis-remembering. Mark Roth would likely know.
Offline
User avatar

bobfells

  • Posts: 2904
  • Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:03 pm
  • Location: Old Virginny

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostWed May 28, 2014 6:19 pm

I don't think anybody mentioned that Grapevine Video is offering the 50-minute version of SHE GOES TO WAR (1929). Here's the link:
http://grapevinevideo.com/she_goes_to_war.html

Image
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9060
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostThu May 29, 2014 11:27 am

azjazzman wrote:
silentfilm wrote:Reel Images and Murray Glass' EmGee both sold 16mm prints of the 50 minute version.


EmGee was the rental side of Murray's film business. The sales side was Glenn Photo Supply. I would imagine that Reel Images was selling the Glenn Photo print. It sticks in my mind that Griggs Moviedrome had this title as well, but I could be mis-remembering. Mark Roth would likely know.


I've got one Griggs-Moviedrome catalog from 1975, and it is not listed inside. They were in business for quite a while, so they could have offered this title later.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2746
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostTue Jun 17, 2014 12:54 pm

...and just out of interest, what is that lively piece of music at the start of SHE GOES TO WAR? Sounds like a traditional march, rather than something written for the film.
Offline
User avatar

JFK

  • Posts: 2024
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

SHE GOES TO WAR (1929)

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 6:35 pm

2558Image
Image
WWI veterans Captain Gus Womack, EB, George Daily, Captain Dowley

Return to Talking About Silents

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Mike Gebert and 8 guests