There must have been some reason for making this picture, but it certainly isn’t in the cause of entertainment. It provides a dull interlude, despite the draught of the star names.
Someone passed producer-director Frank Borzage a novel of postwar Germany by Erich Maria Remarque which deals with the psychological subtleties of German youth lately released from the World War armies; of the internal political struggle in establishing the republic; of the futility of the army-bred boys to cope with civilian connivance; and finally the tragedy of a love affair between one of the youths and a young woman dying of tuberculosis (Margaret Sullavan).
It is a film of characterization, rather than plot. Writers string together an interminable thread of unimportant incident to show the deep affection which exists among three young German officers. The titular comrades are Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone and Robert Young. After Young is killed in a street riot, the other two look forward to a dark, unhappy and lonely future.
That’s it, and all the poetry in the dialog about falling leaves and the approaching winter only further confuses.
1938: Nomination: Best Actress (Margaret Sullavan)