Arch of Triumph (1948)

119-120 mins | Drama | March 1948

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Producer:

David Lewis

Cinematographer:

Russell Metty

Production Designer:

William Cameron Menzies

Production Company:

Arch of Triumph, Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening title card for this film reads: "Erich Maria Remarque's Arch of Triumph ." Remarque's novel was first published in English in 1945. The film was the initial production of Enterprise Productions, which took over Harry Sherman's 14-acre California Studios in Hollywood and remodeled it. The NYT called the picture an example of the "current profit-sharing trend in independent production." Arch of Triumph, Inc. was established by Enterprise directors Charles Einfeld and David L. Loew in Dec 1945 as a subsidiary company of Enterprise. Remarque and producer David Lewis, who purchased the story, held shares in the newly formed corporation. According to unofficial reports quoted in the NYT article, Ingrid Bergman held the largest share in the corporation with 37 1/2 percent; Enterprise was second with 22 1/2 percent; and the remainder was split among Remarque (20 percent), David Lewis (18 percent), and director Lewis Milestone (2 percent). (According to a LAT article, music score composer Louis Gruenberg was also given a share in the film's profits.) Remarque was reported to have received $225,000 for the rights to the story, and Bergman and Charles Boyer were each paid a salary of $175,000, as stated by an Aug 1946 NYT news item.

       The NYT article also stated that, apart from a shortage of soundstage space at California Studios, production on the film was delayed because writer Irwin Shaw quit. Shaw, who worked for five months on the scenario, disagreed with Milestone about the treatment and, in Jun 1946, requested that his name be taken off the picture. HR adds that the disagreement revolved ... More Less

The opening title card for this film reads: "Erich Maria Remarque's Arch of Triumph ." Remarque's novel was first published in English in 1945. The film was the initial production of Enterprise Productions, which took over Harry Sherman's 14-acre California Studios in Hollywood and remodeled it. The NYT called the picture an example of the "current profit-sharing trend in independent production." Arch of Triumph, Inc. was established by Enterprise directors Charles Einfeld and David L. Loew in Dec 1945 as a subsidiary company of Enterprise. Remarque and producer David Lewis, who purchased the story, held shares in the newly formed corporation. According to unofficial reports quoted in the NYT article, Ingrid Bergman held the largest share in the corporation with 37 1/2 percent; Enterprise was second with 22 1/2 percent; and the remainder was split among Remarque (20 percent), David Lewis (18 percent), and director Lewis Milestone (2 percent). (According to a LAT article, music score composer Louis Gruenberg was also given a share in the film's profits.) Remarque was reported to have received $225,000 for the rights to the story, and Bergman and Charles Boyer were each paid a salary of $175,000, as stated by an Aug 1946 NYT news item.

       The NYT article also stated that, apart from a shortage of soundstage space at California Studios, production on the film was delayed because writer Irwin Shaw quit. Shaw, who worked for five months on the scenario, disagreed with Milestone about the treatment and, in Jun 1946, requested that his name be taken off the picture. HR adds that the disagreement revolved around Shaw's refusal to include a love story in his adaptation. LADN drama editor Virginia Wright interviewed Milestone on 19 Nov 1946, after most of the shooting was finished, and questioned him about his decision to take an onscreen writing credit for the first time in his directing career. According to Wright, Milestone said that when he was first approached by David Lewis to direct the film and learned that Shaw had already completed the script, he declined the offer because he had "never found a completed screenplay that was satisfactory from [his] standpoint." Lewis convinced Milestone to reconsider, and he read the novel and conceptualized its development for the screen.

       When Milestone met with Shaw, however, he found that there was a great polarity between his and Shaw's screen interpretation of the novel, and again offered to drop out of the picture. Lewis and Einfeld suggested a compromise whereby Shaw would rewrite the script to Milestone's specifications; but, according to Milestone, Shaw never approached him for rewrites, so he wrote his own screenplay. Bergman and the studio preferred Milestones script to Shaw's revised version, and he was paid off. Harry Brown was then called in to write the dialogue. A few weeks later, on 2 Dec 1946, Wright printed a rebuttal from Shaw, which stated that Lewis not only approved of his first draft, but offered him directorship. Shaw said that he, in turn, suggested Milestone as the director. He further stated that Milestone strongarmed Lewis into accepting his script, over a version compiled from Shaw's and Milestone's drafts. In a counter-rebuttal in DV two days later, Milestone said Shaw was never offered the job of director on the film.

       According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, MPAA chief Joseph I. Breen objected to the abortion scenes, which were eventually shown offscreen and depicted as "Ravic's" heroic, but futile, efforts to correct the work of "quack abortionists." Breen also objected to the notion of Ravic going unpunished for murdering "Haake" for personal revenge. PCA officials suggested making "Sybil," Haake's torture victim, "merely a symbol of Nazi victims," to eliminate personal revenge as Ravic's motive for murder. The PCA also recommended making Haake's murder self-defense, but the studio denied that request. An early version of the script included a scene in which Ravic strikes Haake three times, stuffs his body into the trunk of his automobile, strips it naked, buries it, and burns his clothes. Due to what Breen termed "excessive brutality and gruesomeness," the scenes were cut from the film. According to an article in LAT , the killing of Haake finally was justified by the Breen office because Ravic was an Austrian killing a German on the eve of the Allies' declaration of war, which made it technically an act of war.

       Breen protested scenes showing Ravic having an illicit sexual affair with "Joan," and her becoming a "kept" mistress of "Alex," as well as a brothel scene in which Ravic examines a group of prostitutes. (The brothel scene was cut from the final film.) Breen advised the filmmakers to characterize Ravic and Joan's relationship as one of "frustrated love," devoid of sex; in the final version, their lovemaking is merely implied. Joan's general promiscuity was allowed to remain because her death at the film's close provided the necessary "compensating moral values" insisted on by the PCA. Further, the PCA objected to the suggestion of mercy killing in Ravic's final scene with Joan in which she asks him for something to numb the pain. In one version of the script, Joan says to Ravic, "You must give me something strong enough" and "It's all right for you to do it, Ravic." In the final film, it is implied that Ravic administers only a pain-killer, and that Joan is taken to the hospital, where she dies.

       A pre-production article in HCN states that actor Louis Calhern shaved off his mustache for the first time in twenty years to play the role of "Morosow," the ex-patriate Russian chasseur. The article also lists Katherine Emery in the role of the "grim nurse," but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. LAEx reported that French film director Michel Bernheim, a technical advisor on the film, was a French naval officer during the war and was taken prisoner at Cherbourg and later escaped from the Fortress of Koenigstein. He arrived in the United States in 1942 to accept a post with the Office of War Information. As reported in HR , French director Georges Lampin assisted in the direction of the European sequences. George Kessel, a former Paris correspondent, was hired by Enterprise to approve the French scenes. An article in This Week on 6 Apr 1947 stated that second unit director Nate Watt, who filmed background scenes in Paris, had to obtain special permission to have the lights on the Arch of Triumph turned on because of a city brown-out caused by a coal shortage. Because of war damage, the crew was forced to dot a stretch of Cannes beach, full of holes and burned-out German pillboxes, with beach umbrellas to get a shot of a boat looking toward the shore.

       HR news items give the following production information: Enterprise tried to borrow Robert Ryan from RKO for the role of "Ravic," but RKO reportedly made unmeetable demands for his loan-out. Before production on the film began, George Coulouris was considered for the role of "Haake." During filming in Paris, in Oct 1946, the French government drained the Seine River in order to remove live bombs and inspect bridge foundations, causing the European unit to improvise river backgrounds with plates and special scaffolding. As part of the recreation of an entire section of Paris in the neighborhood of Place de l'Opera, Enterprise built a set of the famous Fouquet's street cabaret at the junction of the Champs-Elysées and the Avenue Georges V. In order to shoot the small bistro and staircase sets, Enterprises chief still photographer, Scotty Welbourne, equipped a camera boom with a flexible periscopic lens. Construction of Fouquet's cabaret took approximately 16,000 man-hours and cost $65,000.

       Accurate reconstruction was made possible through stills and motion picture footage shot in Paris by the European unit and flown daily to Hollywood by special arrangement with TWA. One hundred European-made automobiles gave the appearance of traffic outside the café; a section of stage wall was removed and three banked ramps were installed to give the cars an entrance to the set and the ability to go full speed. To create a studio backdrop, photographs of the Paris skyline were enlarged to 5,600 square feet. The soundstage set also included wood-strip representations of the Arch of Triumph. In late Jan 1947, a cutting room fire destroyed 19,000 feet of this and another United Artists picture, The Other Love (See Entry). Studio production notes state that a record 112 major sets were built for the film with a four million dollar budget.

       According to HR , in mid-Jan 1947, process shots of the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth were taken in New York City at the ship's North River pier by a camera crew led by Watt. (The ship scenes were cut from the final print, however.) According to an Apr 1948 Var news item, Einfield, one of the film's producers, added eight minutes of footage that had been cut from the film, extending the running time from 120 minutes to 128 minutes. Einfield stated that he made the additions to lighten the film and play up the romantic theme between its two stars. Production designer William Cameron Menzies was borrowed from RKO to work on the film. Prior to the film's release, Bergman recorded an album that included two songs from the film: "Prochlada," sung in Russian, and "Dicitencello Vuie," sung in Italian. Michael Chekhov was originally cast in the role of Haake, but due to illness, was replaced by Charles Laughton in mid-Oct 1946. As reported in DV , Haake's scenes were rewritten for Laughton and were filmed with Bergman in early Nov 1946 in New York City, where she was starring in the Broadway production of Maxwell Anderson's Joan of Lorraine . According to HR , the film was the first motion picture transcribed to microfilm; the French Embassy asked for a print of the film--which, in microfilm, was only thirty feet long--for a dedication ceremony at which the film was to be placed in a cornerstone.

       Warrick appeared as American dilettante "Kate Haegstrom" (Ravic's former lover in the novel) in the picture, but her scenes, among others, were removed when the film's rough cut of about four hours was trimmed to a two-hour running time. In an early version of the script, Kate, who is dying of cancer, has come to Paris from Vienna to be operated on by Ravic. Near the end of the film story, after Ravic turns down her proposal of marriage, he waves to her as her ship leaves for America. No mention of the character Kate is found in the final film. Sylvia Sidney was first considered for the role of Kate. According to Louella Parson's column in the LAEx on 28 Oct 1946, Milestone planned to open a stage version of The Arch of Triumph in Feb 1947, before the film opened, with Warrick as Kate and Boyer as Ravic. No information on a Los Angeles stage production has been found, however. According to the film's program, the soundtrack included actual transcriptions of the speeches of French Premier Édouard Daladier and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declaring war on Germany on 3 Sep 1939; the transcriptions were secured from NBC. Studio production notes state the following: Michael Romanoff, who plays "Captain Alidze," the maitre d' of the Scheherazade café in the film, was the proprietor of Romanoff's, a famous Los Angeles restaurant in the 1940s and 1950s, and that for the scar on Ravic's face, makeup artist Gustaf Norin invented a cast in a mold that was glued to, not painted on, Boyer's face. The Var review erroneously lists Maria Castegnaro, who worked in the studio process department, as the film's editor.

       In May 1953, a Los Angeles court denied novelist Remarque all rights to this film and the 1947 United Artists film The Other Love , which was also based on his novel. At that time, Enterprise Studios was defunct; ownership of the films, which had been foreclosed by Bank of America in 1951, was turned over to the Sunset Securities Co. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Feb 1948.
---
Daily Variety
14 Dec 1945.
---
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1946.
---
Daily Variety
26 Nov 1946.
---
Daily Variety
4 Dec 1946.
---
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1947.
---
Daily Variety
18 Feb 48
p. 3, 15
Film Daily
18 Feb 48
p. 8.
Hollywood Citizen-News
13 Jul 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 46
p. 13, 17
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 46
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 46
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 46
p. 2, 4
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 46
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 46
p. 9, 10
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 46
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 46
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 47
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 47
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 47
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 48
p. 6, 10
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 1953.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
19 Nov 46
p. 17, 21
Los Angeles Daily News
2 Dec 1946.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
8 Jul 1946.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
28 Oct 1946.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Jun 1946.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 Sep 1946.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Dec 1946.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Feb 48
p. 4065.
New York Times
18 Aug 1946.
---
New York Times
6 Oct 1946.
---
New York Times
21 Apr 48
p. 33.
This Week
6 Apr 1947.
---
Variety
18 Feb 48
p. 8.
Variety
14 Apr 48
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Barbara Woodell
Will Kaufman
Gwyn Shipman
Pete Cusanelli
Gene Stutenroth
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Lewis Milestone Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d unit dir
Asst to 2d unit dir
Asst dir on European seq
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Chief still photog
Stills
Focus asst
Asst cam
Gaffer
Stills gaffer
Stills grip
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Illustrator
Standby painter
Drapery man
Paint foreman
Head draftsman
Constr foreman
Loc props
Props foreman
Props
Props
COSTUMES
Cost for Miss Bergman des by
Ward mgr
Ward
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus com
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec scenic eff
Process dept
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hair stylist for Ingrid Bergman
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec prod mgr
Tech adv
Adv on French scenes
Prod secy
Dir secy
Casting dir
Asst casting dir
Asst casting dir
Extra talent casting
Script supv
Cable man
Company grip
Company grip
Company grip
Green man
Best boy
First aid man and tech adv on medical scenes
Transportation mgr
Pub dir
Unit pub
Payroll clerk
Foreign pub and adv on Ingrid Bergman's Italian in
Gypsy folk music coach for Ingrid Bergman
Dial coach for Ingrid Bergman
Dialog coach for Charles Boyer
Set watchman
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Arc de triomphe by Erich Maria Remarque (Munich, c. 1945).
SONGS
"Long After Tonight," music by Rudolph Polk, lyrics by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl, adapted from "Prochlada," a Russian folk song
"Dicitencello Vuie (Just Say I Love Her)," music by Jack Val and Jimmy Dale, lyrics by Martin Kalmanoff and Sam Ward
"Parlami d'amore, Mariu (Tell Me That You Love Me)," music by C. A. Bixio, lyrics by Ennio Neri, English lyrics by Al Stillman.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Erich Maria Remarque's Arch of Triumph
Release Date:
March 1948
Premiere Information:
World premieres in Palm Beach and Miami Beach, Florida: 17 February 1948
Production Date:
15 July--7 November 1946 at Enterprise Studios
addl scenes early--mid November in New York City, late December and mid January--6 February 1947 at Enterprise Studios.
Copyright Claimant:
Arch of Triumph, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 April 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1701
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
119-120
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
12342
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Paris, in the winter of 1938, one year before the beginning of the second World War, an Austrian political refugee and doctor using the alias Ravic prevents a woman from jumping off the Pont-Neuf into the Seine River, and takes her to his room at the international hotel, a stopover for refugees. Later, Ravic, who has been forced to work as an underground surgeon, is called to a hospital to save a young lover from a botched abortion, but she dies. In the morning, the woman he rescued, an Italian-Romanian refugee named Joan Madou, confesses to Ravic that her lover died suddenly during the previous night. With Ravic's help, Joan clears everything with the police and moves to the Hotel de Milan. Later, Ravic and Joan meet again, and he gets her a job as a chanteuse in the Scheherazade café, where Ravic's friend, Morosow, a deposed Russian colonel who calls himself Maurice, works as chasseur. During the following weeks, Ravic and Joan fall in love while drinking calvados, apple brandy from Normandy, in the cafés of Place de l'Opera. One night, Ravic spots German officer Herr von Haake, who once interrogated Ravic and his girl friend Sybil and whose torture killed Sybil. Later, Ravic and Joan take a respite from the oppressive Paris winter and go to Antibes on the French Riviera. There Ravic tells Joan that he can never marry her as long as he remains in France illegally, without a passport. Back in Paris, Ravic stops to help at the scene of a construction accident, and a suspicious French patriot demands his papers. Ravic is arrested ... +


In Paris, in the winter of 1938, one year before the beginning of the second World War, an Austrian political refugee and doctor using the alias Ravic prevents a woman from jumping off the Pont-Neuf into the Seine River, and takes her to his room at the international hotel, a stopover for refugees. Later, Ravic, who has been forced to work as an underground surgeon, is called to a hospital to save a young lover from a botched abortion, but she dies. In the morning, the woman he rescued, an Italian-Romanian refugee named Joan Madou, confesses to Ravic that her lover died suddenly during the previous night. With Ravic's help, Joan clears everything with the police and moves to the Hotel de Milan. Later, Ravic and Joan meet again, and he gets her a job as a chanteuse in the Scheherazade café, where Ravic's friend, Morosow, a deposed Russian colonel who calls himself Maurice, works as chasseur. During the following weeks, Ravic and Joan fall in love while drinking calvados, apple brandy from Normandy, in the cafés of Place de l'Opera. One night, Ravic spots German officer Herr von Haake, who once interrogated Ravic and his girl friend Sybil and whose torture killed Sybil. Later, Ravic and Joan take a respite from the oppressive Paris winter and go to Antibes on the French Riviera. There Ravic tells Joan that he can never marry her as long as he remains in France illegally, without a passport. Back in Paris, Ravic stops to help at the scene of a construction accident, and a suspicious French patriot demands his papers. Ravic is arrested and deported, and during his absence, Joan is courted by Alex, a wealthy young playboy she and Ravic met while on the Riviera. Three months later, Ravic returns and finds Joan living in an apartment that is paid for by Alex, whom she does not love, but who is determined to marry her. Ravic graciously allows Joan time to break up with Alex. Meanwhile, Ravic spots Haake again and, introducing himself as a German tourist, promises to introduce him to the women of Paris during Haake's next trip to Paris. One night, Joan calls Ravic in a panic, but when he arrives at her apartment, he finds that her distress call was merely a ploy to see him. She swears she is not marrying Alex, but Ravic tells her that if she were with him, she would always leave. Meanwhile, France declares war on Germany, and as air raids and blackouts begins in Paris, Haake returns. One night Ravic kills Haake during a drive in the country. Ravic goes back to his hotel room and lapses into a deep sleep, which is interrupted by a frantic telephone call from Joan, who says she has left Alex, but has been hurt badly by him. Ravic falls back to sleep, but is shaken awake by Alex, who confesses that he shot Joan. Ravic goes to Joan at the Hotel de Milan and gives her a pain shot, but she later dies in a hospital. At the international hotel, all refugees are forced to show their papers, and Ravic joins the queue with Maurice, knowing that he will be placed in a determent camp. As the Arch of Triumph looms over Paris, Maurice kisses Ravic goodbye. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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