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Mister Gardenia Jones (1942)

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



Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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


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





Release Date:

29 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Gardenia Jones  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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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User Reviews

MGM wartime promotional short for the USO...
7 November 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A good curiosity piece is this wartime promotional short from MGM starring RONALD REAGAN in the title role. Why Reagan is doing this for MGM (rather than his home studio, Warner Brothers) is questionable. The fact that it's a pitch for people giving to the USO (so servicemen won't be bored with nothing to do) is probably the reason Reagan volunteered his services to another studio.

LARAINE DAY is his pretty hometown girlfriend, FAY BAINTER is his doting mother and CHARLES WINNINGER is Reagan's jovial father. For good measure, CHILL WILLS has a featured role.

This is a typical short feature shown as a part of double feature programs during the '40s. It's well-intentioned but comes across as rather weak stuff today.

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