Women of All Nations (1931): Raoul Walsh’s Military Comedy, Starring Victor McLaglen, Edmund Lowe, Greta Nissen, El Brendel

American pre-Code military comedy film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Victor McLaglen, Edmund Lowe, Greta Nissen and El Brendel.

This was the second sequel to Walsh’s 1926 What Price Glory, the first being Walsh’s The Cock-Eyed World, in 1929. A third sequel, Hot Pepper, was directed by John Blystone in 1933, with McLaglen and Lowe once again reprising their roles.

Humphrey Bogart was cast in the role of Stone in the film, but in the final version, none of his scenes made it to the screen.

The film, set at the end of World War I, centers on lifelong rivals Captain Jim Flagg and Sergeant Harry Quirt in the trenches. After the war ends, both men re-enlist, and the story follows their adventures through the Philippines, Asia, and the Panama Canal.

After a stint in the brig, Flagg is given command of recruiting office in Brooklyn, New York, where he works with Olsen, who has a persistent sneezing problem, much to the annoyance of Flagg. Quirt, meanwhile has been discharged. When a local “joint” is raided by the police, Flagg discovers it is being run by Quirt, and he forces Quirt to re-enlist, or be turned over to the police. Flagg has been highly unsuccessful as a recruiter, managing only a single other recruit, Izzy Kaplan, who Flagg promised to look after to his father.

They are sent to Sweden, where a love triangle develops between Flagg, Quirt and Elsa, a dancer they meet in a café. Elsa’s boyfriend, Olaf, eventually intervenes, and the Marines leave Sweden, bound to Nicaragua, to help out in earthquake rescue and relief efforts. During the efforts, Izzy is killed, and Flagg digs out a buried marine, discovering it is Quirt.

Their final mission in the Mid-East, where they find Elsa in a harem. She had arrived from Paris, where she had met Prince Hassan, and now works in his harem.

Quirt, Flagg and Olsen rescue Elsa from the Harem, sneaking her out in an enclosed chair. As they argue about who will end up with Elsa, they hear Olsen’s sneeze from within the chair. They understand Olsen will wind up with Elsa, to the chagrin of the other Marines.

In his autobiography, Walsh called the film “a turkey because it could not be anything else. A third McLaglen-Lowe film was too much for the public; I had been afraid of this from the start. It should have been called `The League of Nations,’ because it flopped just as hard.”

Cast
Victor McLaglen as Captain Jim Flagg
Edmund Lowe as Sergeant Harry Quirt
Greta Nissen as Elsa
El Brendel as Olsen
Fifi D’Orsay as Fifi
Marjorie White as Margie
Jesse De Vorska as Izzy Kaplan
Marion Lessing as Gretchen
T. Roy Barnes as Captain of the Marines
Ruth Warren as Ruth
Bela Lugosi as Prince Hassan
Joyce Compton as Kiki