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Service with the Colors (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Short | 31 August 1940 (USA)

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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)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Sgt. Clicker
Thomas Stanton
Col. Nelson
Charles Corbin (as William Orr)
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

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Drama | Short






Release Date:

31 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1939-1940 season) #8: Service with the Colors  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

3 hots and a cot
28 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

A few familiar faces from the big and small screen will be recognized by the viewer of Service With The Colors. This short subject from Warner Brothers is about service in the peacetime army which in 1940 everyone knew was going to become a wartime army any day now.

People enlist for all kinds of reasons in the army during time of peace and one of those enlisting is William T. Orr. Watching this one has to remember this was the Depression and jobs just weren't to be had. I could relate to that because in my family my one surviving uncle now 96 wanted to enlist in the Navy, but was implored with tears by my grandmother not to do it. So he sat around and couldn't get a job until World War II started. Who knows if he had enlisted, he might have been killed at Pearl Harbor. As it was he survived the Battle Of The Bulge.

In any event Orr had the same idea as my uncle. Three hot meals a day and a place to sleep. The film is about how those notions get radically changed by Colonel Henry O'Neill and Sergeant Robert Armstrong among others.

And among others you'll recognize William Lundigan and Herbert Anderson as fellow enlistees. All in all a decent short film which if expanded could have been a good feature.

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