Three Comrades (1938): Borzage’s Melodrama Starring Margaret Sullavan and Robert Taylor

This classy MGM screen adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel about three young German soldiers trying to find some reason and meaning for living in post-World War I Germany, boasts some of the studio’s best talents, in front and behind the cameras.

Margaret Sullavan received her first and only Best Actress Oscar nomination for playing the dying girl.

Robert Taylor was cast as the “comrade” she loved the most; and Franchot Tone and Robert Young were his friends.

All the men are united in their love for the same girl, who is dying of tuberculosis; her illness cast a pall over the joys of youth, made sharper and more painful due to the political context.

As written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edward E. Paramore, directed by Frank Borzage and produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the movie not only remains true to the spirit of Remarque’s book, but it’s also to-notch entertainment due to Borzage’s smooth direction and polished production values.

The foreboding Nazi undertones in the Germany it depicted were not appreciated by American Bundists.


Robert Taylor

Margaret Sullavan

Franchot Tone

Robert Young

Guy Kibbee

Lionel Atwill

Henry Hull

Charley Grapewin

Monty Woolley



Release date: June 3, 1938

Running time: 98 Minutes

Produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Directed by Frank Borzage.

Screenplay by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edward E. Paramore, from the book by Erich Maria Remarque.