The deft hand of Preston Sturges molded this film, further proof that he is one of the industry's best writer-directors. The numerous situations that lend themselves readily to comedy lines and business are taken advantage of by a cast that sparkles because of the swift pace they are put through.
The deft hand of Preston Sturges molded this film, further proof that he is one of the industry’s best writer-directors. The numerous situations that lend themselves readily to comedy lines and business are taken advantage of by a cast that sparkles because of the swift pace they are put through.
Yarn finds Eddie Bracken, medically discharged from the Marines after only one month of service because of hay fever, befriended by six real Guadalcanal heroes. During the course of this friendship, Bracken is clothed in his old marine uniform, bodily taken back to his old home town, where he is welcomed as a hero.
Proof that a capable director can take an actor who is willing to listen and get a better-than-good performance out of him or her is amply displayed here. Sturges has a large cast of veterans supporting Bracken, and a former boxing champion, Freddie Steele, as Bugsy, one of the six marines. The vets all do a good job, but Steele’s work is standout.
1944: Nomination: Best Original Screenplay
Hail the Conquering Hero
Paramount. Dir Preston Sturges; Producer [uncredited]; Screenplay Preston Sturges; Camera John F. Seitz; Editor Stuart Gilmore; Music Werner Heymann Art Dir Hans Dreier, Haldane Douglas
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 101 MIN.
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