Using newsreel and previously released documentary footage, this film focuses on the life of the common soldier, from the conflicts of World War I to those of Nazi Germany and Italy under Mussolini. Narrated by a voice representing the spirit of the "unknown soldier," the film intercuts shots of assorted political events and military leaders with footage of troop movements and actual battles. Scenes include the funeral of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, the German invasion of Sarajevo in Yugoslavia, the sinking of the German battleship Blucher , the Italian military advance through the Alps, and the German incursion into the North African desert. The World War I activities and sacrifices of the highly decorated all-black 369th Infantry of the U.S. Army are highlighted, as are the various methods of military destruction, from the simple horse and gun, to the sophisticated airplane and battleship. Life behind the battle lines is also shown.
Some sources list the film's title as Unknown Soldier Speaks. One source credits Jack Goldberg as editor, not director. Alan Bunce was a well-known Broadway actor. The film was labeled as propaganda in some reviews. According to one reviewer, unacknowledged footage from Lewis Milestone's 1930 Universal film, All Quiet on the Western Front, was also used. Reviewers commented that the film juxtaposed World War I and contemporary footage for thematic effect. According to a May 1934 Film Daily news item, two versions of the picture were distributed in New York, a "Negro version," which was to be shown in Harlem and other "colored communities," and a white version, which was booked at the Mayfair Theatre. Modern sources state that Lincoln Productions was forced to make "compilation" films because they lacked the funds for original all-black movies. Some modern sources refer to the production company as Goldberg Brothers.