On the way to work, five defence workers contemplate their pasts and their own reasons for working.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margo ...
Lisette Rene
...
Mr. Wellington
...
Joe Dunham
Amelita Ward ...
Mary Jones, Miss America
William Terry ...
Bob Nolan
...
Fred Taylor
James Bell ...
Tom Burke
Charles Arnt ...
Jim Benson
...
Swallow
Wally Brown ...
Sam
Erford Gage ...
...
Col. Mueller
Warren Hymer ...
Pete
Michael St. Angel ...
Jim Johnson - Mechanic
Don Dillaway ...
Frank Danielson - Mechanic
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Storyline

On the way to work, five defence workers contemplate their pasts and their own reasons for working.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sensational Drama That X-rays the Secret Hearts of 5 "Ordinary" Men and Women!

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

3 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An American Story  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Considering when it was made, this is a very effective propaganda piece
17 May 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The film begins with a group of employees carpooling to work. It seems that they hardly know each other but they all work at the nearby defense plant. The driver breaks the usual silence by telling them that since they really don't know each other, he's been telling his wife stories about each of them. Now, he needed to confess this because the wife is insisting he invite them all to a party! From this point on, the film is a long series of flashbacks where you get to learn more about each character as well as why they are now working for the airplane factory.

I think that much of the impact of this film is lost today unless you understand the context. The United States was in the middle of WWII and Hollywood felt a strong obligation to aid in the war effort by producing films that encouraged the people at home to do their best to support their country. At the time, a film like this would have been quite popular and few would have second-guessed the producers and writers for making such a sentimental film. So it is in this context that I hope viewers watch this film--after all, it's easy to see the film as hard to believe now, but at the time this was timely and important.

As for the technical merits of the film, the script is rather interesting--with some of the vignettes being excellent and a couple being just okay. The acting is good and it's nice to see a young Robert Ryan in one of his first films as well as the reliable old character actor, John Carradine in one of his more "normal" roles.


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