Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

****½
USA

Preston Sturges reshuffles his terrific ensemble so that gawky Eddie Bracken plays a would-be Marine who has to return home without ever having entered into battle, William Demarest as the sergeant who reinvents him as a returning war hero before his awestruck hometown and Freddie Steele as the soldier who's always looking to protect his poor mother. The movie has the warmth of Hollywood's concept of middle America, the bite of a very clever political satire and the verbal and visual imagination of Preston Sturges at his verbal and visual peak.

wr/dir: Preston Sturges
ph: John Seitz
cast: Eddie Bracken, William Demarest, Ella Raines, Freddie Steele, Bill Edwards, Raymond Walburn, Georgia Caine, Alan Bridge, Franklin Pangborn, Jimmie Dundee, James Damore, Stephen Gregory, Len Hendry, Esther Howard, Elizabeth Patterson, Jimmy Conlin, Arthur Hoyt, Harry Hayden

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