What Price Glory

What Price Glory


The evocative setting of this comedy-drama from John Ford (Stagecoach, How Green Was My Valley) brings home both the brutality and camaraderie of war and What Price Glory is a 'must' for James Cagney fans. Captain Flagg (James Cagney), the cynical, hard-drinking commander of a company of Marines, returns from the First World War trenches to the French village of Bar-le-Duc and the arms of his lover Charmaine (Corinne Calvet), the daughter of a local innkeeper. He is intent on having fun before returning to the front with the next batch of recruits. Little does he know that his new Top Sergeant is Quirt (Dan Dailey), Flagg's arch enemy in love, and sparring partner across the occupied territories. Charmaine soon takes a shine to Quirt and when he and Flagg are called back up to the front, their battle of wits soon becomes a race to get back to Bar-le-Duc and capture Charmaine's heart.

What Price Glory was written by Maxwell Anderson and Henry Ephron, based on the 1924 anti-war play by Maxwell Anderson and Lawrence Stallings. In 1948 John Ford had the idea of putting on a benefit production of the play for the veterans' Purple Heart Association. A star studded cast included John Wayne, Gregory Peck and Maureen O'Hara although in the event Ford was credited as Supervisor, with a professional stage director called in. Three years later, Ford was loaned out from the Republic studio (where he was under contract) to Fox to direct a remake of the film. Studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck's initial idea was to turn it into a musical, but Ford quashed that notion. However he lost the battle for his choice of leads, John Wayne and Ward Bond, who were turned down by Fox.

Special Features

- Film notes and a director biography by film historian Philip Kemp