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"So Proudly We Hail!" is an absolutely magnificent film in every way. This movie was NOT a propaganda film like so many made during that time were. There was no "rah-rah" attitude anywhere in this film. This is one of the first films that put women in the spotlight as true war heroes, and in the front lines. The movie was extremely important for women, and how women are viewed in films. This film centers around the true horrors that the courageous nurses who served in WWII at Corregidor went through. NOTHING at all was candy coated, so to speak. As you watch this film, and remember that it was made in 1943, you will be shocked at some of the content for that time period. Amazing performances by all, including the great Claudette Colbert, George Reeves (from Superman fame), Veronica Lake (In certainly her finest performance), and Paullette Goddard who was nominated for an Academy Award. The script for this film was written by using the stories from journals, and diaries of the actual nurses who served at Corregidor. Some of these nurses made it back, and some didn't. Some of the surviving nurses of Corregidor were also brought in during production as technical advisors to the film makers. A few of them were even used as extras. Issues of Life magazine, and photographers from Life magazine who were there, were brought in assure even more accuracy concerning uniforms, and surroundings. The fact that this movie was released while the war was still going on, is further testament to it's courageous stance in not candy coating the horrors of war. This is one of the few old WWII films that I would love to see remade. A remake of this film could be as huge as "Saving Private Ryan" As you watch the film, you will see what I mean. This film was well written, had outstanding acting, mature subject matter for the time period, and was an historical achievement for putting courageous women in the spotlight. All of these elements together, make for a classic film that is a MUST SEE for everyone. Why this film is not in the AFI Top 100 is a mystery to me.
Another fine film from AMC's 1998 "Veterans' Day Movie
This one details (in flashbacks) the daily ordeals of a company of Red Cross nurses serving in Bataan and Corregidor during WWII. For a change, Paulette Goddard plays the nurse with most of the male admirers (Sonny Tufts in particular), with Veronica Lake showing up late in a decidedly unsexy role (about which I can't say much more than that, lest I ruin it for you). Both offer up career performances, if that's saying much. Their leader, durable talent Claudette Colbert, holds the troop together throughout, despite numerous tragedies. Helping to prop *her* up is her persistent suitor George Reeves (later of the TV series, "Superman"). Interesting for the fact that it was shot while the war was still raging ~ so there are a lot of decidedly non-PC references to "Japs" ~ but this is a real salute to the unsung women who served in "the big one." A must-rent.
In 1967, there were three television stations, and at 9:30pm on Saturday nights, the weekend movies would start, and my mom and I would watch whatever was on. "So Proudly We Hail" was playing on a cold December night in New Mexico, and I was transfixed watching this black and white classic. Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, and Veronica Lake. I didn't know any of these actresses, but they became my idols, not the actresses themselves, but the women they portrayed. I always hoped there would be a war movie playing on those Saturday nights. I ask myself now, why I wanted to see these movies. When I turned 18, I talked to a recruiter, with dreams of serving in the Army, dressing in uniform, and playing soldier. My dream was not realized in the military, but in the civilian sector, and I "served" almost 30 years in ER's across this country. I know it's corny to say a movie influenced my life, but "So Proudly We Hail," did influence mine, profoundly. When Veronica Lake realized her comrades were in danger, and she made the choice to give her life for theirs, and her country, I realize that our daughters in the military are armed, and are making those decisions on a daily basis. So much has changed in 61 years, and yet they remain the same. I'm proud of this movie, and am grateful for the influence it had on my life on a Saturday night so long ago.
Like "Cry Havoc" (also made in 1943 but with a small cast and a modest
set), this is a film about American Army nurses stranded on Corregidor,
Philippines during the horrific time when General MacArthur was ordered
to retreat to Australia. Both films are fascinating and moving because
they were made during the War, before its outcome was known.
The performances of the very large cast of "So Proudly We Hail" are uniformly good -- with the exception of Ms. Goddard, whose mannerisms are annoying. George Reeves gives the performance of his career and even the much-maligned Sonny Tufts turns in a subtle performance.
The balance of violence and romance works; and commendable also is the script's restraint coupled with unexpected plot turns and un-clichéd character studies. It's long, yes, and occasionally strives to sound like a documentary, but it is never boring and one of its set-pieces, a patriotic speech made by the chaplain (Walter Abel), still resonates today, during another war.
It is much too easy to fall into the post-World War Two media trap that the war was a man's war, and that women were just incidental to the effort. Thank goodness there are movies like this to remind Americans that the war was a total effort by almost everyone. In a real sense, women have not yet received full honor for their contribution to the war effort, whether they were ferrying planes, tending wounded, of carrying intelligence. In this film, one finds the horrors of war go beyond the battle lines into the minds of those who faced the reality of a world weary and frightened of war. This movie is also a reminder that most Americans during the war saw the fall of Bataan and the Phillippines as the major tragedy of the time. Pearl Harbor was frightening enough, but the very magnitude of defeat in the Pacific brought home the reality that there would be more casualties--if they could get off the island. It is difficult to find a Colbert movie of this period where she did not excel as a actress. This movie is no exception, she is extraordinary. Also, the evacuation scene is spectacular. If this movie did not inspire the Homefront to greater effort, what could? World War Two was everyone's war, and the peace would be everyone's peace.
I was stunned by the sheer excellence of this movie. I've saw many World
II films and this by far is the most real to life. I've never saw war
God, but if I were to I'd expect it'd be as this movie portrayed!
This in my opinion is a must see for all women. This movie shows the courage, leadership, and strong will of women who so often are taken for granted. Our world is kept in tune by these silent unsung heroes, not just in war but in daily living. Women are nurses, managers, business owners, mothers, and some how they manage the time to be wives.
I enjoyed this movie a great deal because of it's accurate portrayal of the power of women. How women can be strong in times of danger and be heroes in times of war, but all the while keep their femininity, compassion, and sensitivity.
Some of the things you'll see in this movie will amaze you. Things that may not or seldom do appear in movies today are in this remarkable film. For instance there's a scene where a woman chooses to sacrifice herself with a grenade for the good of her fellow nurses. Another is a short and quite violent fight between a couple of nurses.
The plot is very solid in my opinion and this movie gives no glory to war! It's a classic war time epic, done from a very modern perspective. It indeed is a gem in a plastic box.
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.
Without some of the sappy romances, I would have rated this powerful
movie a couple of stars higher. That's only my tastes in films. For the
ladies, they might like this "war movie," a lot more because it pays
tribute mainly nurses and all the romances are probably just the
But for 126 minutes, I would have liked to see a bit less courtship scenes, which included some corny dialog. I realize they needed to break up the action scenes and give something for the females to watch, but they often made no sense. For example, near the end Colbert marries George Reeves (yes, Superman) even though she admits she knows almost nothing about the man!!.
I did enjoy watching Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard and Vernoica Lake, however. All of them looked very pretty. Lake was missing her peek-a-boo long blonde hair but probably - at least facially - looked better than I've ever seen her. Her role was the most interesting.
The movie succeeds in paying tribute to unsung heroes of any war: the nurses. They were an extremely hard-worked, under-appreciated group during World War II, so this tribute is well- earned and I'm glad to have seen it. God bless those ladies who made such sacrifices.
I saw this film when it first came out. I liked it then and I like it now. Some argue that its a little too heavy on the patriotism. But if you remember it was made at a time when we weren't sure how the war would come out, the context keeps patriotism in perspective. Back then most everyone supported the war effort and the doubters kept their doubts to themselves. There were virtually no families without at least one member in the service and most of the non-service people worked in defense jobs. "So Proudly We Hail" was a timely film when it was made and 60+ years later its message is still relevant as an historical event.
During WW II everyone in America joined forces to fight against Japan and Germany. This film clearly portrays the great efforts of the Military Nurses who helped the wounded and even gave their lives in order to bring Victory for the USA. Claudette Colbert,(Lt. Janet Davidson),"It Happened One Night",'34, spread herself very thin trying to support the nurses and the soldiers in the hospitals. Paulette Goddard,(Lt. Joan O'Doul),"Reap the Wild Wind",'42 gave an outstanding supporting role while under constant bombing from the Japanese Zero planes. Veronica Lake,(Lt. Oliva D'Arcy)," I Married a Witch",42 surprised everyone in the Nurses Unit with her great act of love and service to her country. Veronica Lake in real life had a short lived career and was not truly appreciated for her great acting abilities. This 1943 War picture clearly shows the horror of War and the results which live forever in our hearts and souls, especially the Veterans who are wounded and living in the Veteran's hospitals even TODAY.
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