IMDb > The Fighting 69th (1940)
The Fighting 69th
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The Fighting 69th (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.8/10   1,226 votes »
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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Norman Reilly Raine (original screen play by) &
Fred Niblo Jr. (original screen play by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Fighting 69th on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 January 1940 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Jammed With Action ! . . Loaded With Excitement ! . . . And Every Thrill-Packed Word Is True !
Plot:
Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
NewsDesk:
An Uneasy Peace: The Disappearing War Film
 (From SoundOnSight. 21 May 2011, 11:57 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Other Irish American War Tradition See more (24 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Cagney ... Jerry Plunkett

Pat O'Brien ... Father Duffy
George Brent ... 'Wild Bill' Donovan
Jeffrey Lynn ... Joyce Kilmer

Alan Hale ... Sgt. 'Big Mike' Wynn
Frank McHugh ... 'Crepe Hanger' Burke
Dennis Morgan ... Lieutenant Ames
Dick Foran ... Lt. 'Long John' Wynn
William Lundigan ... Timmy Wynn
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Paddy Dolan
Henry O'Neill ... The Colonel

John Litel ... Captain Mangan
Sammy Cohen ... Mike Murphy
Harvey Stephens ... Major Anderson

William Hopper ... Private Turner (as DeWolf Hopper)
Tom Dugan ... Private McManus

Frank Wilcox ... Lieutenant Norman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert Anderson ... Pvt. Casey (uncredited)

John Arledge ... Second Alabama Man (uncredited)
Trevor Bardette ... First Alabama Man (uncredited)
Jack Boyle Jr. ... Chuck (uncredited)
Richard Clayton ... Tierney (uncredited)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Jimmy (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Wounded Soldier in Parade Car (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Officer at Briefing (uncredited)
Joseph Crehan ... Doctor Giving Inoculations (uncredited)
John Daheim ... Soldier (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Regan (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Medical Captain (uncredited)
Edgar Edwards ... Engineer Officer (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Engineer Sergeant at Cave-In (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Supply Sergeant (uncredited)
Jerry Fletcher ... Telephonist (uncredited)
Arno Frey ... German Officer (uncredited)
Edmund Glover ... Fourth Alabama Man (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Soldier Watching Fight (uncredited)
John Harron ... Carrol (uncredited)
J. Anthony Hughes ... Healey (uncredited)
Layne Ireland ... Hefferman (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... New Recruit (uncredited)
George Kilgen ... Ryan (uncredited)
Jacques Lory ... Waiter (uncredited)
Wilfred Lucas ... Doctor Checking Eyes (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... Capt. Bootz (uncredited)
Frank Melton ... Third Alabama Man (uncredited)
Elmo Murray ... O'Brien (uncredited)
Byron Nelson ... Soldier (uncredited)
George O'Hanlon ... Eddie Kearney (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Major (uncredited)

George Reeves ... Jack O'Keefe (uncredited)
John Ridgely ... Moran (uncredited)
Frank Sully ... Sergeant (uncredited)

Roland Varno ... German Officer (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Doctor Giving Physicals (uncredited)

Directed by
William Keighley 
 
Writing credits
Norman Reilly Raine (original screen play by) &
Fred Niblo Jr. (original screen play by) and
Dean Riesner (original screen play by)

Produced by
Louis F. Edelman .... associate producer
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch (music by)
 
Cinematography by
Tony Gaudio (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Owen Marks (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Ted Smith 
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jack L. Warner .... in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Heath .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Charles Lang .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Byron Haskin .... special effects
Rex Wimpy .... special effects
 
Stunts
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
Buster Wiles .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements
 
Other crew
John T. Prout .... technical advisor (as Capt. John T. Prout)
Mark White .... technical advisor
George Boothby .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min | Finland:84 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-15 (new rating: 2001) | Sweden:15 | USA:TV-PG | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5756)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
For the 1948 re-release Dennis Morgan bumped George Brent, who was no longer with Warners, from top star billing and moved from 7th to 3rd spot.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: After the skirmish in the woods, an "unconscious" German prisoner obligingly stands on his feet prior to being carried back to the American lines.See more »
Quotes:
Father Duffy:When did an Irishman need a prayer in a fight?See more »
Soundtrack:
Wearing of the GreenSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
The Other Irish American War Tradition, 18 July 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Recent American moviegoers who saw Martin Scorsese's great film, The Gangs of New York would probably think that the Civil War Draft Riots represented the unanimous Irish opinion on the American Civil War. Far from it and the regiment known as the 69th New York won honor and glory for itself in the Civil War.

The Spanish American War was over before it saw any action, but that was certainly made up for in World War I. The Fighting 69th as this film was called did the stuff legends are made of and a few personal legends came out of that conflict.

In the years 1938-1941 Hollywood turned out a whole load of patriotic type films. Either about past American wars or about military preparedness for the war to come, these flicks weren't deep or subtle. But they were great entertainment.

The Fighting 69th is based on two real American heroes, William J. Donovan and Father Francis P. Duffy, played by George Brent and Pat O'Brien and a fictional one named Jerry Plunkett played by James Cagney.

William J. Donovan (Will Bill as he was known)among other awards won the Congressional Medal of Honor. He had a distinguished career in the Harding-Coolidge Justice Department and also ran for Governor of New York in 1932, a bad year for Republicans which Donovan was. After this film was made, FDR appointed Donovan to head the Office of Strategic Services, our American intelligence service in World War II and the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. His biography would be a great film, maybe someone will do it one day.

When Father Francis P. Duffy died in 1932, he was one of New York's beloved figures by all faiths. He was the chaplain of the regiment, having been so since the Spanish American War. During World War II, he never stayed behind the lines, he traveled with a combat medical unit and went where the fighting was the thickest. The closest person we've had to him recently was Father Mychal Judge of the NYC Fire Department who accompanied the firemen into the burning World Trade Center on 9/11/01. A couple of Catholic priests who walked the walk were Duffy and Judge.

After the war Duffy became pastor of the "Actor's church" on West 42nd Street in Hell's Kitchen, but near the theater district. When he passed on, a statue of him still there today was put in the triangle opposite Times Square. And that triangle was renamed Duffy Square.

Both Donovan and Duffy figure prominently in Cagney's story in The Fighting 69th. For the first half Cagney is his usual streetwise, cocky urban self. The second half of the film as he's brought to the realities of war reveal a different Plunkett. It's also a great test of what a fabulous player James Cagney was, to show the change in Plunkett's character. The main story line is what happens to Cagney in the film and he's brilliant.

If anyone is looking for a film about the causes of and how America got into World War I, this ain't the film. Some in current audiences will find it flag waving and super-patriotic and it sure is. But it's well acted flag waving.

One of these days someone may do a film that concentrates solely on the careers of either Donovan or Duffy. Hopefully soon.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Foreign language spoken during inoculation scene ? viaggio1
Plunkett would have been discharged prior to deployment -real life rkolsen
Music tarmcgator
Which Arch of Triumph ? Chris398
Joyce Kilmer jastanga
White-Technical Advisor valleyblvd209
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