In 1792, the French army is fighting on an empty stomach. A baron commissions Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle to inspire the troops with a new marching song. He's soon completed the music and lyrics of "Le Marseillaise." We see the revolutionaries adopt the song as their own. To de Lisle's regret, the song he had hoped would bring French unity becomes an anthem for French killing French. He's arrested and his on his way to the guillotine when the procession halts. Can he explain the meaning of the song and escape an early death?Written by
Prussian armies rage outside France's borders, famine and civil strife within. Urged by the Mayor, a young officer named Rouget de Lisle works on a marching song to rally the King's weary troops. See more »
Rather dull historical drama from MGM tells the story of how France got their national anthem. During the French Revolution, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (Leon Ames) was asked by the King to write a song, which would rally their troops into winning the war. Rowland directed many shorts from MGM but this here isn't one of his best. There's a lot wrong with the film including just a lack of direction because it's never quite clear what the film is trying to do. At one part it seems like a musical but then it switches over to a historical drama before switching again to some patriotic fighting rally. There's nothing wrong with mixing genres together but the problem here is that there's no emotion or power to anything going on. Ames, best known for MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, manges to turn in a decent performance but it's certainly not among his best. The film also suffers from a low-budget that doesn't help matters any.
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