Though it eventually collapsed under the weight of mounting debts, the small firm of Sono Art-World Wide managed to turn out several worthwhile films in the first two years of the talkies. The company's first 1930 release was Blaze o' Glory, adapted from a story by Thomas Boyd. Broadway star Eddie Dowling (who later staged and appeared in the first production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie) heads the cast as vaudeville entertainer Eddie Williams. Just before being shipped off to WWI, Eddie weds his sweetheart Helen (Betty Compson), serenading his lady love with one of the film's four songs. By the time the film is two-thirds over, war-hero Eddie is on trial for murder, raising the fascinating issue of whether or not the killing of a wartime enemy really is murder. The fact that all of Eddie's army buddies were entertainers like himself is excuse enough for a variety of specialty acts, including one little ditty (Welcome Home) sung in English, Italian and Yiddish. The hits keep on coming, even during Eddie's trial, with heroine Helen offering her defense in song! As bizarre as this film must have seemed to American audiences, it must have been positively incomprehensible when refilmed for Spanish-speaking filmgoers as Sombras de Gloria.
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