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ERROL23

Hail The Conquering Hero(1944)

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Woodrow Truesmith(Eddie Bracken)is an exMarine who was discharged because of hayfever.A group of Marines led by SGT Heppelfinger(William Demarest)meet Woodrow in a bar and find him disappointed because he was turned down.Woodrow tells them his father was a WW1 hero.SGT Hepplefinger gives Woodrow a uniform and goes home with him where Woodrow is welcomed back as a hero.Woodrows mother(Georgia Caine)and his girl,Libby(Ella Raines)are proud because he lived up to a family tradition.Woodrow is ashamed,but goes along with it all.


The towns crooked mayor(Raymond Walburn)finds out the truth about Woodrow and plans to make it public when the town wants Woodrow to run for his job.


Great Preston Sturges Film.

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I think Woodrow goes along initially but he changes his mind. The problem, I think, then becomes he can't stop it all. He protests, he even tells people he isn't deserving but people think that only points to his modesty. He is swept up in all the good intentions of the town to where he can only straighten things out at the point of his speech.

 

The problem is that Demarest won't stop. He knows it has gone too far but he is determined to see it all the way through.

 

Some poignant moments especially surrounding Woodrow's father. You really have to feel for Bracken's "Truesmith" as make he makes his confession speech. A little feel good idea becomes all this and it wasn't even his idea.

 

Great performances. 

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This one starts out slow so we can be informed of why everything happens, then when the train comes in... whizbang! we're off to the races and it doesn't slow down until we see The End.

 

This is loaded with excellent character actors.. everyone nailed their part.

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