Parachute Battalion (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  12 September 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 108 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort ... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay) (as Major Hugh Fite Air Corps)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kit Richards
Bill Burke
Bill Richards
Jeff Hollis
Paul Kelly ...
Richard Cromwell ...
Robert Barrat ...
Col. Burke
Edward Fielding ...
Chief of Infantry
Erville Alderson ...
Pa Hollis
Thomas Morse
Jack Briggs ...
Walter Sande ...
Medical Officer
Kathryn Sheldon ...
Ma Hollis


In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort Benning, Georgia is followed in semi-documentary style, with time out for personal dramas and the romantic rivalry of Bill and Don over the sergeant's daughter. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No wonder the boys got "jump fever" whenthey tackled Uncle Sam's most dangerous game! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Batalhão de Paraquedas  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Towards the end, the aircraft in which the two parachutists try to catch up with the rest of the battalion (in DC-2s), and which looks like a pregnant Harvard, is a North American O-10 observation aircraft. See more »


When the two parachutists land in the river their parachutes are not deployed but still packed. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the title and names of the eight featured players, the following statement appears in capital letters while the title song plays and we view the marching infantry: We gratefully acknowledge the splendid cooperation given by the officers and men of the 501st Parachute Battalion at Fort Benning, Ga., who actually made all the parachute jumps for this picture. See more »


Parachute Battalion
(1941) (uncredited)
Adapted from the official song of the army's parachute troops
Music by Roy Webb
Lyrics Herman Ruby
Played during the opening credits and at the end and sung by the marching recruits
Played also as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

For what it is, it's done exceptionally well.
27 January 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Just before the US entered WWII, quite a few patriotic films were made by Hollywood showcasing the various duties of its armed forces. Some (such as "Caught in the Draft" and "Buck Privates") were comedies others were not ("Dive Bomber" and "I wanted Wings"). But all were films with a message--it's patriotic and important to become part of these fighting units. "Parachute Battalion" is such a film and it debuted several months before Pearl Harbor.

The film is about a small group of men who volunteer for the paratroopers. Not surprisingly, it's a scary proposition jumping out of airplanes and the film shows their progress through this school. There are four fellows in particular that they showcase: a brash All-American football player (Robert Preston), the son of the base commander who is keeping his identity secret from his follow soldiers (Edmond O'Brien), comic relief (Buddy Ebsen) and a guy scared out of his wits (Richard Cromwell). All must prove themselves as they progress through camp.

So why did I score such a routine with a very high score of 8? One reason is that the men are NOT uniformly perfect--one clearly cracks up and another is close. Such fallibility probably would have NOT been in the film had it been made once the US was in the war--and it adds to the realism. But the biggest reason I liked the film is that little stock footage was used and what was used fit seamlessly into the movie. All too often, crappy, grainy footage is shoved into such films--but here you actually see the actors doing much of the work. Overall, it is an interesting little film--and a nice chance to see a young Edmond O'Brien in an early starring role.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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