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Dead World War II bomber pilot, Maj. Pete Sandidge, becomes guardian angel to another pilot, Capt. Ted Randall, guiding Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.
A group of U.S. Army nurses leaves San Francisco for their tour of duty in Hawaii in December 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor changes their destination, and their lives. Sent to Bataan, in the Philippines, the nurses are led by Lt. Janet Davidson. She is faced with untested nurses who expected an easy time in Honolulu, but who quickly become battle-weary veterans dealing with daily bombardments by the Japanese, overwhelmed by the numbers of wounded, and dwindling supplies. Some of "Davey's" unit also have to deal with romantic entanglements with men they met onboard ship. When Bataan falls, the American forces flee to the offshore island of Corregidor, where they find the Japanese assault just as intense. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Effective combination of suds, realism, patriotism in story of WW2 nurses...
Hollywood deserves a big hand of applause for making SO PROUDLY WE HAIL at a time when the U.S. was still involved in WW2 and our struggles to overcome the Japanese in the Pacific. It opened to popular acclaim at New York's Radio City Music Hall where it played to contented audiences who were both entertained and impressed by the war realism depicted as nurses undergo the rigors of work among the wounded.
It's still pretty impressive, although some of the flag-waving gets a little heavy and the suds flow pretty freely when the nurses discover romance. Claudette Colbert leads the pack of nurses with a nobility only Claudette could demonstrate--and sincerity. In lesser roles, Veronica Lake and Paulette Goddard acquit themselves well, with Goddard receiving a Supporting Actress nomination.
Sonny Tufts achieved instant popularity with his role as the bumbling Kansas and George Reeves had one of the best roles of his career as Colbert's love interest.
What makes the film remarkable for its time is the way it handles all of the action sequences--and there are plenty of them. The explosions don't look as if they're happening on a studio set but in the jungles and terrain of the story--and they're mighty effective in their realism, something even today's audiences can appreciate.
On the debit side, the story is a little overlong and the flashback technique might not appeal to everyone. Still, it has holding power and is an example of one of the finer films of the period to deal with the role of women during World War II.
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