Starring John Payne, Maureen O'Hara, Randolph Scott, Nancy Kelly, Minor Watson
Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone
Plot: “Sergeant Dixie Smith has more raw recruits to turn into Marines, if he can. Among them is cocky casanova Chris Winters, son of an officer, who's just tried to ‘mash’ Mary Carter, a major's niece. Once on base, he finds Mary's a nurse and an off-limits officer. Does this stop him? Of course not. But his attitude problem soon puts him in a position where he must redeem himself, with December 7, 1941 fast approaching.” (from IMDb)
This is more a propaganda film than a war film. It deals with the misadventures of a headstrong Marine recruit (John Payne), and most of it takes place on the base. I’m not a big Randolph Scott fan, but surprisingly I don’t hate him in this (what a uniform will do for a man…just kidding!). Mainly I think that’s because it’s pretty easy to empathize with Scott’s character, as Chris Winters (Payne) really is a—pardon the pun—pain. In other words, he’s a jerk. That’s the key problem with the film: the main character is not likeable! I’m not sure what they were trying to do with this movie, perhaps just show how anyone can rise to the call of duty…er, something?
According to Wikipedia, “The Marines credit the movie as the biggest single recruitment aide in 1942.”
Love the tilt of Payne's hat. And look how ramrod straight Scott is standing. I guess that defines his character.
John Payne and Maureen O’Hara also appeared together in Miracle on 34th Street, Sentimental Journey, and Tripoli (not related to this film).
The Technicolor is gorgeous! It really highlights Maureen’s beauty. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Color Cinematography.
I’m honestly not sure what Maureen’s character saw in Winters.
August 17 was Maureen’s 91st birthday. Happy birthday and many more to one of Classic Hollywood’s greatest living legends!
An unfortunate bit of racism. I guess this was supposed to be funny?
The ending was changed because of Pearl Harbor. This film was just over two hours but it felt even longer. Not one I’ll be rushing to see again anytime soon, though I’ve certainly seen worse!