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Service with the Colors (1940)

 -  Drama | Short  -  31 August 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 80 users  
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This Warner Bros. short film focuses on new army recruits prior to the U.S. entry into World War II. They are assigned to the Presidio in San Francisco and put under the command of Sgt. ... See full summary »



(original screenplay)
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Title: Service with the Colors (1940)

Service with the Colors (1940) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Robert Armstrong ...
Sgt. Clicker
William Lundigan ...
Thomas Stanton
Henry O'Neill ...
Col. Nelson
Charles Corbin (as William Orr)
Herbert Anderson ...
Hiram Briggs
George Haywood ...
James Taylor


This Warner Bros. short film focuses on new army recruits prior to the U.S. entry into World War II. They are assigned to the Presidio in San Francisco and put under the command of Sgt. Clicker for their basic training. One of the recruits, Chuck Corbin, has something of a chip on his shoulder and doesn't seem to fit in. The Sergeant is patient and helpful and helps him along. As they improve their skills and enjoy their time off, Chuck ends up spending time in the guard house and decides to desert. When he puts his life on the line to save some of his friends, he's given a break and takes on a new more positive attitude. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short






Release Date:

31 August 1940 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included as a bonus on the 2006 Warner DVD of City for Conquest (1940). See more »


New recruits with only a few days in the Army are shown getting specialized training with weapons and equipment. In fact recruits, go through six weeks or more of basic training to increase their fitness, coordination, and the very basics of drill. This film would have you believe that within a few days recruits have learned all you need to know to function as a soldier. See more »


National Emblem
Music by Edwin Eugene Bagley
Performed by military band
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User Reviews

Serving When There's No War
4 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Our protector in the time of war; our counselor in the time of peace."

So begins this 20-minute tribute to the armed forces of the United States. Boy, is this something you would never see today. This was nice to it was made in color.

The story follows four young guys as they enlist in the army and train at the Presidio in San Francisco. "Why enlist when there's no war?" one of them is asked. It turns out to be a prophetic question since the United States did enter the biggest war of all time, World War II, not too long after this movie short was released.

Anyway three of the recruits are gung-ho and one of them has a terrible attitude. (Somebody who acted like he did would never voluntarily enlist.) The guy with the chip on his shoulder is slowly won over by a tough sergeant who really is too nice a guy to believe, to be honest. However, it makes for a nice feel-good sotry.

The whole thing is hokey but refreshing in its patriotism.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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