The Road to Glory

Synopsis: In 1916, somewhere in the front in France in World War I, the 5th Company in the 2nd Battalion of the 39th Regiment created by Napoleon Bonaparte and leaded by the tough Captain Paul La Roche receives among the replacements, Lieutenant Michel Denet and private Moran. When Lt. Denet meets the nurse Monique La Coste, who is Capt. La Roche's mistress but he doe not know, they fall in love for each other. When Capt. La Roche sees the old Pvt. Moran in his inspection, he identifies his father using a fake identity. Meanwhile, the 39th Regiment receives order to go to the trenches, attack the German lines and install a telephone in the front to guide the artillery.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Howard Hawks
Production: 20th Century Fox
103 min

What's the bad news this time?

If this outfit likes to fight

this ought to be good news.

Did I say anything

about liking to fight?

Special order for the Captain.

- In there. Be sure and knock.

Come in.

Captain LaRoche?


- From headquarters, sir.

Make yourself at home.

Can I get you a chair?

- No, sir.

That's all.

Tell the Sergeant to come in... exactly 2 minutes.

- Yes, sir.

Is it orders to go back to the front?


- When?

Tonight, now.

- Tonight?

Such a short leave.

It's harder each time you go.

Is it, dear?

It's good to hear you say that.

Monique, I want you

to have something.

This was given to me by...

...someone I love very

much, my sister.

It's lovely.

I'll say prayers to Our Lady

to bring you back safely.

You blessed child.

She knows I'd be lost without you.

You would?

You've been so good, so kind, I...

Is that all?

Paul... tears my heart each time

you go back to the front.

Do you know what you just said?

Say it again.

It tears my heart.



I'll come back.

I always come back. I'm eternal.

Come, dear.

We're moving back up at midnight.

Yes, sir.

Here it is, sir.

Order equipment.

We're in for 3 weeks.

Yes, sir.

Assembly at 11:

Yes, sir, but...

- Well?

The replacements,

they haven't reported.

I expect you to see they do report.

Yes, sir.

Is that all, sir?

Is that all, sir?

- Listen.

Light out, fires out!

- Sir, I don't understand.

Don't you hear those motors?

They're German.

Hurry up!

- Yes, sir.

Lights out, to cover everybody!

Lights out!

Lights out! Get under cover!

Keep that door closed!

Come in!

Come in out of the lead.

- How can I?

Step back. I'll push up the grating.

Hurry up, jump. Come on.

One more. Hurry up.

Are you hurt?

- No, I...

I don't think so.

When those things land on

you, you usually know it.

Sit down here.

See if I can get some light in here.

Now we can...


I never expected to find any...

Are you pretty badly shaken?

You'd better have a drink.

Here, try this.

I'll make you more comfortable there.

Poor Fifi.

What a woman she was in her day?

You lie down here.

You'll have to stay here

until all this blows over.

There we are.

You like another drink?

- No, thanks.


It turned out to be a

great war, didn't it?

I mean, that was a pretty narrow

escape you had there.

Gosh I'm awfully glad that you...

I'll be all right.

A little too direct?

Say, I know what I'll do.

I'll play for you.

Are we?

Are we safe here?

I am.

This won't last long.

Lieutenant... did you happen to be here?

I'm establishing a mood.

I'm softening you.

It's the only way to do it, music.

Notice the romance in it?

No, really, how did you

happen to be here?

I came in a few minutes

before you did.

Notice how the music's getting you?


- No?

You just wait.

You'll begin to quiver like

a reed in the storm.

I've never known it to fail.

You see?

I'm sorry, but I...

...feel nothing.

Nothing at all?

To tell the truth I was afraid

of something like that.

If you notice...

...the piano's a little out of tune.

Don't move, I'll squeeze in here.

You may have it all. I'm leaving.

- Not yet.

You don't realize the danger with

this sky full of death, but I do.

You'll stay here until

it's safe again.

Lieutenant, how long have

you been at the front?

Almost two years, child.

I'm a veteran.

And you haven't learned yet

that when the rain comes...

...they go away?

I know that...

...but I was hoping you

didn't. I'm sorry.

I can't understand it.

Nothing I do seems to work.

Perhaps it's because

I'm a veteran too.

Don't go yet. Please,

just for a moment.

It was only that... were very lovely to look at...

...and I didn't want you to go away.

You see, it...

I don't know, a soldier doesn't find

moments of beauty and so...

...when one does come

along be snatches at it.

And why not?

A bomb or a shell may get

either of us tomorrow.

Why not take a moment like this

and sort of make the most of it?

It may be our last.

That was very dramatic.

Yeah, I rather thought so.

You know, that's the

soldier's approach.

Not the enlisted soldier's, you

understand. No, he's more pointed.

The commissioned soldier...

...he uses a little more finesse,

it seems to me...

...and he beats about

the bush a little longer.

And this is your usual approach?


There's a great deal to be said for

the enlisted man's practice of...

Have you finished?


...if you don't want this, you might

have the politeness to slap me...

...because we'll never get

anywhere with your attitude.

It's unfair.

Wait, please. I haven't finished.

I was just preparing to apologize.

- You needn't bother.

Will you tell me your name?


At least your hospital unit.

I don't think I'd better.

Goodbye, Lieutenant.

Captain's quarters?

- Right in there, sir.

Thank you.

No, no. If it's not here in half

an hour it will be too late.

At ease, men.

I'm the new platoon commander.

- Sergeant Regnier, sir.

How are you, Sergeant?


Captain LaRoche here?

- He's expecting you.

Take care of that for me, will you?

Come in.

Lieutenant Denet reporting, sir.

- You should've arrived 2 hours ago.

I ran into a difficulty, sir.

- Air raid?

In a way, yes.

Let's see. In civil life... were a pianist.

I was a student.

Otherwise your record's not bad.

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Joel Sayre

Joel Sayre (December 13, 1900 – September 9, 1979) was an American novelist, war reporter, and screenwriter born in Marion, Indiana. He was the chief screenwriter for the 1939 film Gunga Din. He died on the September 9, 1979 of heart failure. His daughter was the film critic and essayist, Nora Sayre. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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