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Tanks a Million (1941)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  12 September 1941 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 147 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

An Army draftee with a good memory makes sergeant and saves the day.

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Title: Tanks a Million (1941)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Tracy ...
...
Col. 'Spitfire' Barkley
...
Charlie Cobb
Joe Sawyer ...
Elyse Knox ...
Jeannie
...
Capt. Rossmead
Knox Manning ...
Radio Interviewer Cardigan
...
Pvt. Skivic
Dick Wessel ...
Pvt. Monkman
Frank Melton ...
Pvt. Cleary
Harold Goodwin ...
Lt. Caldwell
William Gould ...
Maj. Greer
...
Major
Edit

Storyline

An Army draftee with a good memory makes sergeant and saves the day.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Sabichão  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by As You Were (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

You're in the Army Now
Music by Isham Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wow, did this little film impress me!
19 January 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Starting in the late 1930s, Hal Roach Studios began making less and less one and two-reel shorts (such as those of Laurel and Hardy, the Little Rascals and Charley Chase) and began making short feature-length films (about 60 minutes each). This seemed to be what the public wanted, so Roach made some changes. Additionally, his old money-makers (Laurel and Hardy) went independent--working for Fox and other studios (in hindsight, NOT a good decision by the boys). So, Roach started trying to develop new talent, such as his TOPPER films and a variety of cute comedies (such as NAZTY NUISANCE and TURNABOUT). In addition, he made a short series of WWII army films about Sergeant Doubleday (starring William Tracy) and this film, TANKS A MILLION, was the first.

Before I began watching it, I thought the film had two strikes against it, so I expect it to be at best a "time passer". First, like all these Roach films, it had a small budget and secondly, I haven't yet been very impressed by ANY of these later Roach films (in general, the humor seems VERY broad and the situations VERY contrived). So, with these very low expectations, I was hard to impress. Amazingly enough, I actually was quite charmed by this little sleeper. The character of Doubleday was a very likable guy and the situations he got himself into were often hilarious. In fact, compared to other similar products of the day from other studios, this one was better than Abbott and Costello's BUCK PRIVATES (from Universal) and at least as good as Bob Hope's CAUGHT IN THE DRAFT (from Paramount).

So why did I like it? Well, part of it was Tracy and his character. He was silly and very difficult to believe, but he was also so likable and nice that I really bought into the character. Plus, his nemesis, Sgt. Ames was a great foil and watching Ames try again and again and again to catch Doubleday messing up was great--especially when again and again his sneakiness blew up in his face!! Additionally, James Gleason was a very welcome addition as the Colonel. While far from my favorite character actor, in this film, he was perfect.

The film was a great blend of comedy, WWII propaganda meant to support the war effort and entertainment. While not the funniest film of the era, it is among the best and had me wanting more. Unfortunately, one of the follow-up films in the series (ABOUT FACE) was a severe let-down. I certainly hope that HAY FOOT (1942) and the other Doubleday films (made both during WWII and the Korean War) were better.


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