Heroes for Sale is a bravura piece of social commentary in a tightly wound seventy minutes of film. It’s something rarely seen before or since, a movie with so much to say that it simply can’t shut up.
It begins on a rainy night in the trenches of World War I. Tom Holmes is assigned to lead a suicide mission behind enemy lines to capture German officers for a prisoner exchange. He takes ten men, all he can afford to lose. One of those men is Roger Winston, who panics at the gunfire and who watches the men get murdered one by one. With only him and Holmes left, he refuses to leave cover, cowering in the mud. Holmes calls him a coward, bravely dodging gunfire and making his way behind the lines. He captures a German lieutenant and brings him back to Winston before being shot in the back.