Review: ‘This Is the Army’

It's a dynamic linking of World War I and II with its respective soldier shows - Yip Yip Yaphank and This Is the Army, both by Irving Berlin. It's showmanship and patriotism combined to a super-duper Yankee Doodle degree.

It’s a dynamic linking of World War I and II with its respective soldier shows – Yip Yip Yaphank and This Is the Army, both by Irving Berlin. It’s showmanship and patriotism combined to a super-duper Yankee Doodle degree.

Skillfully linked are both generations, with George Murphy capital as the yesteryear musicomedy star who suffers a leg injury, which doesn’t curb his skill as a theatrical impresario post-1918, and Ronald Reagan, as Johnny Jones, his son, who carries the romance interest in World War II. George Tobias and Julie Oshins are father-and-son to span both periods, and Joan Leslie is the 1943 femme offspring of Charles Butterworth, another of the ‘Yip Yip Yaphankers’. She is the romantic vis-a-vis to Reagan.

But putting the story aside, the socko Berlin songs – 17 of them – tie the whole package together.

Under the Jack Warner-Hal Wallis production supervision and with Mike Curtiz’s expert direction – all of whom donated their services, along with the rest of it – This Is the Army looks like a $3 million Technicolor production instead of the $1.4 million it cost to bring it in.

1943: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.

Nominations: Best Color Art Direction, Sound

This Is the Army

Production

Warner. Director Michael Curtiz; Producer Jack L. Warner; Screenplay Casey Robinson, Claude Rinyon; Camera Bert Glennon, Sol Polito; Editor George Amy; Music Ray Heindorf (arr.); Art Director John Hughes, John Koenig

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

George Murphy Joan Leslie Ronald Reagan George Tobias Julie Oshins Una Merkel
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