Days of Glory (1944)

86 mins | Drama | 1944

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writer:

Casey Robinson

Producer:

Casey Robinson

Cinematographer:

Tony Gaudio

Editor:

Joseph Noriega

Production Designer:

Mordecai Gorelik

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this picture was Revenge . According to a news item in HR , Days of Glory was selected as the final title through a national poll of screen fans. The film opens with the following spoken prologue: "Here is the true story, which could have happened in any land, of a little group of free people who lived and loved and fought to drive the invaders from their native soil." The title of the film is then followed by pictures of the cast members with their names and roles. The narration continues over these pictures, providing a brief sketch of each character. The complete production credits do not appear until the end of the film.
       This picture marked the screen debut of Gregory Peck (1916--2003), who did not make a favorable impression on the audience, according to an item in NYT . Although the onscreen credits state that film marked the debut for several actors in addition to Peck, Days of Glory was the first feature length film production for actors Alan Reed, Lowell Gilmore, Hugo Haas, Glenn Vernon, Edward Durst, Lou Crosby and Russian ballerina Tamara Toumanova. Maria Palmer, Dena Penn and Igor Dolgoruki had previous feature film credits; however, Days of Glory marked their first major film roles. It was also the first producing credit for screenwriter Casey Robinson, who was married to Toumanova, and the first "A" level production for director Jacques Tourneur. According to news item in HR , the film was shot on location in Cedar City, UT. Production was suspended on 18 Aug 1943 so that ... More Less

The working title of this picture was Revenge . According to a news item in HR , Days of Glory was selected as the final title through a national poll of screen fans. The film opens with the following spoken prologue: "Here is the true story, which could have happened in any land, of a little group of free people who lived and loved and fought to drive the invaders from their native soil." The title of the film is then followed by pictures of the cast members with their names and roles. The narration continues over these pictures, providing a brief sketch of each character. The complete production credits do not appear until the end of the film.
       This picture marked the screen debut of Gregory Peck (1916--2003), who did not make a favorable impression on the audience, according to an item in NYT . Although the onscreen credits state that film marked the debut for several actors in addition to Peck, Days of Glory was the first feature length film production for actors Alan Reed, Lowell Gilmore, Hugo Haas, Glenn Vernon, Edward Durst, Lou Crosby and Russian ballerina Tamara Toumanova. Maria Palmer, Dena Penn and Igor Dolgoruki had previous feature film credits; however, Days of Glory marked their first major film roles. It was also the first producing credit for screenwriter Casey Robinson, who was married to Toumanova, and the first "A" level production for director Jacques Tourneur. According to news item in HR , the film was shot on location in Cedar City, UT. Production was suspended on 18 Aug 1943 so that Robinson could revise the script. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Apr 1944.
---
Daily Variety
18 Apr 44
p. 3, 19
Film Daily
27 Apr 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 45
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Apr 44
p. 1858.
New York Times
17 Jun 44
p. 10.
New York Times
15 Jul 1945.
---
Variety
3 May 44
p. 23.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Casey Robinson Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Wrt for the screen by, Wrt for the scr by
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Revenge
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Pennsylvania: 8 June 1943
Production Date:
early July--mid September 1943
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
19 April 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12786
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86
Length(in feet):
7,723
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In the fall of the first year of World War II, Hitler's armies traverse the Russian highways enroute to Leningrad and Stalingrad. Alongside the roads, in the stillness of the great forests, Russian guerrilla soldiers wait, determined to drive the invaders from their soil. In one of the guerrilla groups are Vladimir, the leader; Semyon, a former professor who now serves as Vladimir's adjutant; Yelena, a girl from the factories who is in love with Vladimir; Sasha, an amiable drunk; Fedor, a blacksmith; Dmitri, a farmer; Petrov, the "silent" one; and sixteen-year-old Mitya and his little sister Olga, who cooks for the group. Upon returning from headquarters one day, Vladimir learns that the group has given refuge to Nina, a beautiful woman found wandering in the war-ravaged countryside. When they question Nina about what skills she can contribute, she volunteers that she was once a ballerina in the Moscow theater. Jealous and contemptous of the elegant Nina, Yelena urges Vladimir to send her away. Later, Vladimir confides to Petrov that when they receive the coded message "the snow will fall" they will be launched on a mission that will cost them their lives. As Vladimir plans his strategy, Mitya tells Nina of the destruction of his village and murder of his father by the Nazis. To comfort Mitya, Nina begins to dance for him, but her performance is interrupted by a German soldier. When Olga throws boiling liquid at the soldier, Mitya grabs his rifle and captures him. Vladimir is about to kill the German when Nina cries out, and Semyon convinces him to grant the soldier a trial. Afterward, Nina confides ... +


In the fall of the first year of World War II, Hitler's armies traverse the Russian highways enroute to Leningrad and Stalingrad. Alongside the roads, in the stillness of the great forests, Russian guerrilla soldiers wait, determined to drive the invaders from their soil. In one of the guerrilla groups are Vladimir, the leader; Semyon, a former professor who now serves as Vladimir's adjutant; Yelena, a girl from the factories who is in love with Vladimir; Sasha, an amiable drunk; Fedor, a blacksmith; Dmitri, a farmer; Petrov, the "silent" one; and sixteen-year-old Mitya and his little sister Olga, who cooks for the group. Upon returning from headquarters one day, Vladimir learns that the group has given refuge to Nina, a beautiful woman found wandering in the war-ravaged countryside. When they question Nina about what skills she can contribute, she volunteers that she was once a ballerina in the Moscow theater. Jealous and contemptous of the elegant Nina, Yelena urges Vladimir to send her away. Later, Vladimir confides to Petrov that when they receive the coded message "the snow will fall" they will be launched on a mission that will cost them their lives. As Vladimir plans his strategy, Mitya tells Nina of the destruction of his village and murder of his father by the Nazis. To comfort Mitya, Nina begins to dance for him, but her performance is interrupted by a German soldier. When Olga throws boiling liquid at the soldier, Mitya grabs his rifle and captures him. Vladimir is about to kill the German when Nina cries out, and Semyon convinces him to grant the soldier a trial. Afterward, Nina confides to Semyon that she feels like an outsider and he offers her encouragement. While alone in the hideout the next day, Nina is attacked by the German soldier and she shoots him in self-defense. Her actions win Vladimir's acceptance and admiration, and he invites her to accompany him on a raid to blow up a German ammunition train. After their mission is completed, Vladimir embraces Nina. When she questions his lust for killing Germans, he explains that before the war, he was an engineer who built a great dam which he later was forced to destroy to prevent the Germans from taking it. Nina then comforts Vladimir and makes him promise never to send her away. The two spend the night together in the woods, causing the others to become jealous and angry. When Vladimir learns that he must send a woman through German lines to deliver a message about the strength and location of the German troops, he faces a moral dilemma because of his love for Nina. Vladimir assigns the dangerous mission to Yelena, who leaves camp feeling rejected. As Yelena meets her death along the trail, Nina awakens, sensing danger. Vladimir tells her that she has taught him to love life again but when Yelena's horse returns to his corral with his saddle stained with blood, Nina volunteers to deliver the message. Vladimir sends Mitya to guard her, arranging to meet them at a house in a neighboring village. Their mission is a success and Nina returns with the message "the snow will fall tomorrow." Soon after, German soldiers arrive at the house and arrest Mitya. Upon learning that the boy has been sentenced to hang, Nina begs Vladimir to intercede, but he refuses because they must mobilize the following day. Nina watches helplessly as the Germans put a noose around Mitya's neck, but when he sees her, he meets his death with a smile on his face and defiance on his lips. After Nina tells Olga that her brother died a hero, Vladimir orders her to take the girl to safety, explaining that their mission is to draw the German tanks away from the front and that a little girl has no place there. As members of the group perish in the line of fire, Semyon and Vladimir draw the German tanks to their hideout. At that moment, Nina returns to the group, and with the tanks approaching, she takes the soldier's oath. As Nina swears final victory over the enemy, the burning tanks obliterate their stronghold. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.