Author-director Delmer Daves scripted Stage Door Canteen for Sol Lesser in early 1943 and he parlayed himself into another smasheroo for Warners with Hollywood Canteen.
Robert Hutton and Joan Leslie emerge as the real stars of the filmusical. They carry the story and a human one it is, too. Hutton looks like the ideal GI Joe, back with a Purple Heart from the South Pacific, and his buddy (Dane Clark) looks the perfect Brooklynite.
Story has Hutton winding up not only meeting his dream-girl (Leslie) but is also the lucky winner as the millionth guest of the Hollywood Canteen. That entitles him to an Arabian Nights suite, car, gifts and his choice of actresses for his weekend date. Natch, it’s Leslie. What’s nice is that real-life Leslie plays herself with charm, poise and ease, and the plot is so glib one accepts the romance wholeheartedly.
1944: Nominations: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, Sound, Song (‘Sweet Dreams Sweetheart’)
Warner. Dir Delmer Daves; Producer Alex Gottlieb; Screenplay Delmer Daves; Camera Bert Glennon; Editor Christian Nyby; Music Ray Heindorf (adapt.) Art Dir Leo Kuter
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 124 MIN.
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