28. Wooden Crosses (A-)
The other movie that came in the Criterion Eclipse collection of Raymond Bernard's early sound films, this is a 1932 war epic following soon on the heels of All Quiet on the Western Front
, to which it makes a good companion piece. Like that movie, it's about a newcomer to the First World War, and his loss of ideals; it's less character-centred than the earlier movie, and, as with Les Miserables
, Bernard has a tendency to lose his characters for long stretches in the middle of big sweeping scenes with crowds (battles, in this case). But those battle scenes are truly stunning -- literally decades ahead of their time. The effects, editing, and camerawork are amazing.
Home Video: 20 (+1)