The folly of war indeed. Despite the rather heavy titular allegory this is a subtle and revealing character piece which makes its pacifist intentions clear without any great tub thumping. A splendid performance from Mason singled out from a uniformly strong cast.
Men compete with each other by killing animals. One of them has the temerity to threaten the pet of a child. Knowing that the situation is unfair, the child says, "I shall kill you with prayer." When someone gets shot, one of them dismisses it with, "He's just a peasant." James Mason is outstanding. He was a real life pacifist.
Everyone talks about "Downton Abbey" but this film is a much subtler dramatization of the same time period. James Mason, Dorothy Tutin and the others in this cast achieve a more mysteriously beautiful bond than the actors in the TV series.