"Yes, I did sign it, but in good faith, believe me. Millions of Frenchmen have signed it. Someone came around asking if I was against the atomic bomb no matter who used it, and, well. . .nobody likes the atomic bomb."
Maurice Chevalier on an "immense injustice" which caused him "more sorrow than pain" when, in 1951, the US government denied him a visa for signing the Communist-sponsored Stockholm Peace Appeal calling for the ban of nuclear weapons.

    In the 1950s, Paul Robeson was blacklisted in large part because of his peace activism during the Cold War.  In 1951, he declared:
"There is no doubt in my mind but that it is possible to find ways of agreement between nations of different economic and social systems.  The people of the world clearly want this agreement.  It rests with us here in the United States to do our share, to give the final popular push which will let our government know that the people of this great country, in their vast majority, also want peace in the world--not destruction. . . .As for me, I see war as the major evil of our time.  It is a monster which solves no problem but aggravates all.  The present conflict and its danger of expansion have placed the burden of mounting armaments on the backs of the working masses of our land, have accentuated the obvious and cancerous disparity between the ill-gained profits of the wealthy few and the meager subsistence of the multitude of producers. . . .The fight for peace -- resistance against the exploiters and oppressors of mankind who want war to further their greedy ends -- the fight for peace is today the center of all these struggles, of all the aspirations of working people, artists, intellectuals the world over who form the world movement for peace."

    Defying the US government which had revoked his passport, Robeson gave a concert in 1953 for thousands of Americans and Canadians near the international boundary or "Peace Arch" between the two countries.  In his speech, he stated:
"I know there is one humanity, that there is no basic difference of race or color, no basic difference of culture, but that all human beings can live in friendship and peace.  I know it from experience.  I have seen the people.  I have learned their languages.  I sing their songs.  And I go about America, or wherever I may go, seeking of simple things. . . .I said long ago that I was going to give up my life to spend my day-to-day struggle down among the masses of people, not even as any great artists up on top somewhere--but right here in this park, in many of the picket lines, wherever I could be to help the struggle of the people.  And I will never apologize for that."

    From an entry in the wartime diary written by Frank Capra in 1943 after witnessing an air raid in London:
"The flower of the nations wiping each other out.  What a crime.  Surely God didn't mean us to do all this to each other. . .Why must the noblest elements get destroyed and not the wicked?  The whole thing doesn't make sense.  I sincerely believe the common people will someday declare war on war itself.  Until that happens we will fight each other for power, commerce or material interests."

    "I am not a Communist; neither have I ever joined any political party or organization in my life.  I am what you call a peace-monger."
Charlie Chaplin's reply to the House Un-American Activities Committee's inquiries about his politics. In 1952, political pressures in the US at the height of the Cold War drove him into exile in Switzerland.

    "Must you forever kill those who love you?"
Flo, Jean Diaz' friend, to a war-frenzied mob who burn the visionary at the stake for summoning the World War I dead of all nations to denounce the new conflict in J'ACCUSE.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE (1921)    "The first Horseman to lead Prophecy's devastating forces is--Conquest!  The second--War, in all his hideousness!  The third, trailing in their wake--Pestilence, carrying the Scales of Famine!  And in relentless pursuit, the fourth Horseman--Death!  The agony of humanity under the brutal sweep of the Four Horsemen has already begun!"
 Tchernoff (Nigel de Brulier) in THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE.

    "The motion picture is war's greatest antidote."
D. W. Griffith, The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in America (1916).

    "Apart from the fact that LA DIVINE TRAGEDIE will be the crowning achievement of my life's work, my interest in making it derives from the conviction that showing such a film to the masses would release such a will for peace as would save humanity from impending cataclysm."
Abel Gance in 1952 on a projected epic film on the life of Christ intended as part of a series on the world's great religions entitled LES GRANDS INITIES.  Despite careful preparations, the director was unable to obtain financing to make LA DIVINE TRAGEDIE or the other films in the series that he hoped would promote world peace by appealing to the "hearts and the best instincts" of humanity.

    "If moving pictures properly done of the horrors of war had been inoculated in all the nations of Europe, there would be no bodies of men lying on European battlefields."
D. W. Griffith (1915)

    "It's been a long while since we enlisted out of this classroom--so long I thought maybe the whole world had learned by this time . . . Three years we've had of it--four years!  And every day a year and every night a century."
Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres) to the class in ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

    "Cannon shells! Cannon shells! Instead of bread! Instead of bread!"
A series of titles preceding the revolt of the starving populace of Russia during World War I in THE END OF ST. PETERSBURG.

    "We learned that death is stronger than duty to one's country."
Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres) to Kat (Louis Wolheim) in ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

    "Why are we fighting . . . ?"
Title in THE END OF ST. PETERSBURG.

    "Me, I'm your comrade. I'm not your enemy."
A wounded French soldier in the cot next to Karl as he seizes the hand of the dead German in WESTFRONT 1918.

    "And manufacturers--they get rich."
A German soldier in a discussion of the reasons for war in ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

    "Blood, blood, stinking blood! I can't stand it, I can't stand it! I'm going to stop it, I'm going to stop it! I'm going to stop the whole rotten mess!"
Jerry (Fredric March) in THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK.

    "Can't you realize?  This isn't life up here--it's death.  War, war!  It's gotten to us."
—Monica (Evelyn Brent) in THE MAD PARADE.

    "Isn't any war--
     Isn't any war--
     Isn't any war--"
Jack Powell (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) during a drunken revelry in Paris refusing to accept the fact that his leave has been cancelled in WINGS.

    " To the front!
      To the front!
      To the front. . . . Front! . . . FRONT!"
—Title in THE BIG PARADE.

    "You mean they want us to go on fighting? . . . They're crazy!"
Tjaden (Slim Summerville) to Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres) on Imperial Germany's resolve to continue the war despite dwindling supplies in ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

    "Cyrus sweeps on to Babylon's destruction."
Title referring to the Persian superpower's final assault on the Iraqi capital in INTOLERANCE.

    "My friends, I return to you, I need you.  Listen, your sacrifices were in vain.  The living want to make war again.  But I, your spirit and will on earth, I oppose.  This is the hour of our pact.  Help me, my friends, my brothers, my comrades.  Your friend is speaking to you, crying to you.  Mankind has taken to war again.  I call for help.  You must help me, you must!  I call to you!"
Jean Diaz (Victor Francen) at the Verdun monument as he calls for the spirits of his 12 million comrades killed in the First World War to appear to the living and condemn them for inciting a new war in J'ACCUSE.

    "How does it always end? In misery, suffering and the blood of the people! Our strutting generals plunged us recklessly into a war for which we were totally unprepared. Is it any wonder that we were disastrously defeated?"
Paul Muni in the title role of THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA on the outcome of the Franco-Prussian War.

    "It seems sort of silly, doesn't it?  Those smug little ideas we used to have about loving and living.  The war's blown them all to hell along with several million men."
— Monica (Evelyn Brent) in THE MAD PARADE.

    "What can happen to us afterwards?"
Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres) contemplating the soldiers' bleak postwar future in ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

    "Suddenly the clamor of war is stilled. . . .the iron grip is broken. . . .the smoke 
clears. . . ."
—Title in WINGS.

    "Peace has come--but the Four Horsemen will still ravage humanity -- stirring unrest in the world--until all hatred is dead and only love reigns in the heart of mankind."
The concluding title inTHE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE "spoken" by Tchernoff at the cemetery where the hero Julio lies with numberless other war dead.
 

     
    War's peace.
    "War's peace."
    —Title in THE BIRTH OF A NATION
    preceding the shots of dead soldiers on
    the Civil War battlefield.
    THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)
In Memoriam
†Carole Lombard (1908-1942), co-star of THE EAGLE 
AND THE HAWK and TO BE OR NOT TO BE
killed in a plane crash while returning from a US bond tour.

†Phillips Holmes (1907-1942), co-star of BROKEN 
LULLABY and MEN MUST FIGHT, killed in a collision 
on a Royal Canadian Air Force plane during his World War II service.

†Leslie Howard (1893-1943), co-star of GONE WITH 
THE WIND, killed when his plane was shot down by enemy forces.


 
 

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE (1921)

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