It’s the day before the start of the Battle of the Somme and we have a trench full of different types exploring the theme “War is hell”. It’s somewhat film-of-the-play (although I don’t believe it’s based on a play), but doesn’t manage to be quite as tiresome as those things usually are. But the audience all know that the boys will pop over the top and get mown down by the German machine guns, which they do. End of film.
There are all the clichés such as the spineless, alcoholic officer; the hard-bitten sergeant who knows his number’s probably up; various proles who are just squabbling cannon fodder; the colonel who drops by for a photo op and tries to con them into believing that they’ll just be going for a stroll because the artillery’s been so effective.
All right, but not exactly novel.