The surprising thing is that despite it being a melodrama about Nazi Germany, there is almost not a single stereotypical character, or a character that doesn't have its own strengths and weaknesses. There are bad guys, but the biggest evil is narrow minded ideology, or fundamentalism as we call it today. Truly, this is an honest film and a bold one at any time, let alone a year before the U.S. entered WWII. It is clearly anti-Nazi, but all the characters are German, whether good or bad or mixed. And many of the Nazis are sympathetic. Even though this was made before the propagandistic push of later years, it is still a strong statement.
In comparing it to the other Borzage films I've seen, it hits the same notes of effective melodrama. I knew the scene with the bridal cup was coming, but when it came it still got dusty in the room. I didn't expect the end, though I could have.
Great filmmaking. I also recommend Borgaze's other films, especially Seventh Heaven (1927) and Lucky Star (1929)