Documentary short film depicting the work of the United Service Organizations (USO) in providing recreational and morale-boosting services for American troops.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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John Jones Jr. (aka Gardenia 'Deany' Jones)
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Joanne
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John Jones
Fay Bainter ...
Emmy Jones
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Hotel Employee
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Storyline

In a typical American household on a quiet Sunday morning, we meet John and Emmy Jones. Their son John Junior, whom they call Deany and whose friends call Gardenia, is an army lieutenant. He's engaged to their neighbor Joann. We find out how he got his nicknames and that he's stationed in Hawaii at Hickam Field. It's December 7, 1941. How did he get there? We see him enlist months before December 7, then he's stationed in a little town with nothing to do. Emmy worries that her son's boredom will bring bitterness about his service, so she and others form the USO. Back in Hawaii, Jones pilots a plane, engaging Japan's air force. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short

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29 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Gardenia Jones  »

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

The USO says it needs to raise $32M in this film. That would be the equivalent of $473M in 2016. See more »

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The Closest Reagan Came To An Oscar
7 November 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

For no appreciable reason other than some name players acted in it, Mister Gardenia Jones was nominated for Best Short Subject in 1941. It's a nice, but not terribly exciting promotion for the United Service Organization. Our men in uniform need a place to go and things to do when they're stationed far away at military posts is the message and the USO provides same.

Fay Bainter and Charles Winninger are the parents of a soldier who has been drafted and Laraine Day his girlfriend from next door and he writes of the loneliness and boredom when he's off duty.

But what really makes this short unique and historical is the presence of two US Presidents. One of course was Franklin D. Roosevelt present via some newsreel footage. The second was a guy who probably never dreamed he'd be president at that point in time. Ronald Reagan is in the title role and while he took top prize in politics, the Oscar this short was nominated for was the closest he'd come to one in his other profession. Ironic ain't it.


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