A pacifist tale concluding with a religious aspect. More frail as to story than the message which it carries, The World Moves On is a big production with an imposing cast, some of whom do little more than bits. It also holds six minutes of graphic war stuff from Crosses of Wood, a Pathe-Natan (French) release which Fox bought a few years earlier.
That this war passage is both the feature’s strength and weakness is the paradox forged by the story. The first half hour is undeniably slow and to follow such war action is not easy. To do so, John Ford had his hands full and hasn’t entirely succeeded.
It is not entirely fair to blame Madeleine Carroll for the shortcoming, for of the two principal parts hers is the weaker. The role is not overboard on color in the first place, and the result is a pleasant if tepid performance. Franchot Tone takes his war stuff with a pipe and three fingers of reserve.
Story starts at New Orleans in 1825, with the reading of a will which combines the Girard and Warburton families through business. Establishment of branches of the Girards in France and Germany paves the way to the complex situation brought on by the war.