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Service with the Colors (1940)

 -  Drama | Short  -  31 August 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 79 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
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #9933-9934. See more »


A drill Sargent would never salute any officer who was in civilian clothes. And it's completely inappropriate for an officer to return a formal salute when not in uniform. See more »


The Stars and Stripes Forever
Music by John Philip Sousa
Performed by military band
See more »

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User Reviews

Follows four enlisted men just before WWII broke out...
28 February 2012 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Watchable mainly because it's one of those Warner Bros. short subjects from the early '40s featuring an interesting cast of stock players: Robert Armstrong, William Lundigan, Herbert Anderson, Henry O'Neill and William T. Orr as the soldier with a chip on his shoulder redeemed by his patriotic commanding officer.

Orr was then an up-and-coming Warner Bros. actor before he became a TV producer and plays the soldier who ends up going AWOL before he is caught. His tough sergeant (Robert Armstrong) has an unbelievable role as a man who's really soft at heart and keeps giving the soldier another chance whatever his shenanigans. William Lundigan is a level-headed army buddy who tries to talk sense into Orr.

Strictly a by the numbers patriotic short that somehow got nominated for a Best Short Subject Oscar. Best aspect is the color photography photographed at the Presidio training center in San Francisco.

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