Mark Sandrich’s So Proudly We Hail! is a saga of the war-front nurse and her heroism under fire. As such it glorifies the American Red Cross and presents the wartime nurse, in the midst of unspeakable dangers, physical and spiritual, in a new light.
Director-producer Sandrich and scripter Allen Scott have limned a vivid, vital story. It’s backgrounded against a realistic romance of how a group of brave American Nightingales came through the hellfire to Australia and thence back to Blighty.
Done in flashback manner, with Claudette Colbert rapidly sinking physically, the saga of their travail pitches to the situation where, out of the past, a love letter from her officer-lover finally brings her back on the road to recovery. Paulette Goddard does a capital job as running mate, and Veronica Lake is the sullen nurse who finally sees the light.
Sonny Tufts walks off with the picture every time he’s on. As Kansas, the blundering ex-footballer, he’s Goddard’s vis-a-vis. George Reeves isn’t as effective as the romantic opposite to Colbert.
1943: Nomination: Best Supp. Actress (Paulette Goddard), Original Screenplay, B&W Cinematography, Special Effects.