5.8/10
402
14 user 4 critic

Blockade (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 17 June 1938 (USA)
A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writer:

John Howard Lawson (original screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
Adventure | Crime | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Akim Tamiroff
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A timid British Army officer has quit and burns his last day summons to a war in Egypt. Calling him a coward, his girl friend and 3 officer friends give him a white feather. In redemption, he shadows his friends in war to save their lives.

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith
Let Us Live (1939)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real ... See full summary »

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Maureen O'Sullivan, Henry Fonda, Ralph Bellamy
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Friends since childhood, two men are on opposite sides in a salmon fishing conflict.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: George Raft, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the 1890s lumberjack John leaves Seattle for Alaska to look for gold. After he marries dance hall girl Sally, he finds she used to be in love with his best friend Blackie.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Henry Fonda, Joan Bennett, Warren William
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

College sweethearts Julie and Ives have planned to marry. Their plans go amiss when Julie meets a weak writer and runs off to marry him. After her husband dies, she's left in Paris, ... See full summary »

Directors: Joshua Logan, Arthur Ripley, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Joan Bennett, Henry Fonda, Louise Platt
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Life story of the musical star from her discovery in 1890 by band leader Tony Pastor till her retirement in 1912 when she married newspaperman Alexander Moore.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda
Slim (1937)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A veteran lineman takes an awe-struck young farmer under his wing, but problems arise when he introduces him to his occasional girlfriend, a pretty nurse.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Henry Fonda, Stuart Erwin
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, Arthur Hohl
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Madeleine Carroll ... Norma
Henry Fonda ... Marco
Leo Carrillo ... Luis
John Halliday ... Andre Gallinet
Reginald Denny ... Edward Grant
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Basil, Norma's Father
Robert Warwick ... Vallejo
Fred Kohler ... Pietro (as Fred Kohler Sr.)
Carlos De Valdez Carlos De Valdez ... Major Del Rio
Peter Godfrey ... Roderigo - Cafe Magician
Nick Thompson ... Beppo
Rosina Galli Rosina Galli ... Waitress
William B. Davidson ... Commandant (as Wm. B. Davidson)
Lupita Tovar ... Cabaret Girl
Katherine DeMille ... Peasant Girl
Edit

Storyline

A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romance under Fire ! Love versus Bullets and a million souls

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The River Is Blue See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Walter Wanger was not deterred by pre-release threats of problems and boycotts from pro-fascist foreign governments. He responded, "Not only do we meekly take intimidation from abroad, but we jump obediently when almost anybody in this country says, 'Frog!' It's ridiculous, and I, for one, don't intend to continue. I'm going to release this Spanish picture as is, and if it's banned in Europe, I'll have to take my loss.". See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Marco: Where is the conscience of the world?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood contra Franco (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A rather flat film that is afraid to challenge or take sides, with a romance that doesn't really engage
23 August 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Marco is a simple Spanish farmer who is forced to stand up and be counted when he takes up arms to protect his country during the civil war. When his heroics and bravery sees him promoted up the ranks, Marco finds things complicated when he starts to fall in love with a woman who's father turns out to be a Russian spy. The couple try to deal with their feelings while they find themselves on opposite sides of the war.

Boasting the tagline 'the most important film of 1938' and having been awarded Oscars at the time of its release, I decided to watch this film and see what the fuss was about. What I found was a film that is too self-consciously cautious to be great fun, too worthy to be involving and ends up being rather dull and uninteresting. The basic plot is set around the Spanish civil war but it appears to have been careful about coming down on either side of the argument and therefore is so balanced that it almost cancels out any content that may have been challenging or informative. This leaves a story about personalities and the central romance, which is a problem because the film doesn't deal with these very well either. The romance tries to be bleak and supposedly doomed but it just can't get the tone right and it never really gets anywhere near as emotive as it needed to be – certainly this is no Casablanca.

With the script problems and rather drab direction, the film only occasionally gets close to being really impacting and involving and it was only the moments where the horrors of the conflict are allowed to get above political neutrality that the film comes to life – but these are too infrequent. The cast are set adrift and do the best they can to squeeze emotion and drama out of the script but their efforts just seem out of place against a rather flat backdrop. Fonda is always watchable even if his 'good honest man' is a rather dull character and, for that reason, hard to get behind; certainly modern audiences may find his unquestioning patriotism and simple morals hard to swallow. Carroll is better than the film deserves, her performance is very good and it is just a shame that the rest of the film doesn't come up to her level of work. Support is OK but the script doesn't fill the film that well and most of the cast are given little to do.

Overall this may well have been the 'most important film of 1938' but it doesn't do a great deal today. The film doesn't inform and isn't interesting as it carefully treads the complexities of the conflict – and Fonda's final to-camera rant about peace is too little, too late and just comes across as being rather pat. The romance could have saved it but this too is fluffed despite the best efforts of Carroll, but Fonda, despite being worth a look, plays it all to simplistically in line with the material.


9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed