What Price Glory? (1926 film)

What Price Glory? is a 1926 American silent comedy-drama war film produced and distributed by Fox Film Corporation and directed by Raoul Walsh. The film is based on the 1924 play What Price Glory by Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings and was remade in 1952 as What Price Glory starring James Cagney.[2][3] Malcolm Stuart Boylan, founder of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, was title writer on the silent Fox attraction.[4]

What Price Glory?
Directed byRaoul Walsh
Written byJames T. O'Donohoe (scenario)
Malcolm Stuart Boylan (intertitles)
Based onWhat Price Glory?
by Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings
Produced byWilliam Fox
StarringVictor McLaglen
Edmund Lowe
Dolores del Río
Phyllis Haver
CinematographyBarney McGill
John Marta
John Smith
Music byErnö Rapée
Lew Pollack
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • November 23, 1926 (1926-11-23)
Running time
116 mins.
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film (English intertitles)
Box office$2 million[1]


Flagg and Quirt are veteran United States Marines whose rivalry dates back a number of years. Flagg is commissioned a captain, he is in command of a company on the front lines of France during World War I. Sergeant Quirt is assigned to Flagg's unit as the senior non-commissioned officer. Flagg and Quirt quickly resume their rivalry, which this time takes its form over the affections of Charmaine, the daughter of the local innkeeper. However, Charmaine's desire for a husband and the reality of war give the two men a common cause.



The film was directed by Raoul Walsh and released as a silent film by Fox Film Corporation on November 23, 1926 in the US, and had a 116-minute running time. On January 21, 1927, a short film of singer Raquel Meller was shown before this feature at the Sam H. Harris Theater in New York City. The short film, not quite synchronized, was the first public presentation of a film in the Fox Movietone sound-on-film system.[5] In January 1927, Fox re-released What Price Glory? with synchronized sound effects and music in the Movietone system.[6]

Part of its fame revolves around the fact that the characters can be seen speaking profanities which are not reflected in the intertitles, but which can be deciphered by lipreaders. The studio was reportedly inundated by calls and letters from enraged Americans, including deaf and hearing impaired people, to whom the vivid profanity between Sergeant Quirt and Captain Flagg was extremely offensive.

In the 1924 Broadway play the roles of Captain Flagg and Sgt. Quirt were played by Louis Wolheim, fresh from his triumph in Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and William "Stage" Boyd. Curiously Wolheim and the younger William Boyd would play characters similar to Quirt and Flagg in the 1928 film Two Arabian Knights.

Although the title is sometimes listed as having a question mark, the Movietone version has simply 'WHAT PRICE GLORY', as does at least one silent trailer as well as some of the posters.

In his autobiography, Peter Cushing claimed his own wife Violet Helen Beck Cushing was part of the cast prior to their marriage.


McLaglen and Lowe reprised their roles from the movie in the radio program Captain Flagg and Sergeant Quirt, broadcast on the Blue Network September 28, 1941 – January 25, 1942, and on NBC February 13, 1942 – April 3, 1942.[7]


Lowe and McLaglen played two similar Marines in the RKO Radio Pictures film Call Out the Marines (1942).


  1. ^ "The All Time Best Sellers". International Motion Picture Almanac 1937-38. Quigley Publishing Company. p. 942. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Arthur Gewirtz, James J. Kolb (2004). Art, Glitter, and Glitz: Mainstream Playwrights and Popular Theatre in 1920s America. Praeger/GreenwoodPlays. ISBN 0-313-32467-0.
  3. ^ What Price Glory the play as produced on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre, September 5, 1924 to September 12, 1925, 435 performances; IBDB.com database
  4. ^ Staedeli, Thomas. "Porträt des Drehbuchautor Malcolm Stuart Boylan". Swiss SIlent Film Website. Cyranos2000. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Edwin M. Bradley, The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 through 1932 (McFarland, 2004) p6
  6. ^ SilentEra entry
  7. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved September 14, 2019.

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