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This Is the Army (1943)

 -  Comedy | Musical | War  -  14 August 1943 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 644 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 14 critic

In WWI dancer Jerry Jones stages an all-soldier show on Broadway, called Yip Yip Yaphank. Wounded in the war, he becomes a producer. In WWII his son Johnny Jones, who was before his ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: This Is the Army (1943)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Charles Butterworth ...
...
Una Merkel ...
Stanley Ridges ...
Rosemary DeCamp ...
Ethel Jones
Ruth Donnelly ...
Dorothy Peterson ...
Mrs. Nelson
...
Frances Langford
Gertrude Niesen ...
World War One Vocalist
Kate Smith ...
...
Johnny Jones (as Lt. Ronald Reagan)
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Storyline

In WWI dancer Jerry Jones stages an all-soldier show on Broadway, called Yip Yip Yaphank. Wounded in the war, he becomes a producer. In WWII his son Johnny Jones, who was before his father's assistant, gets the order to stage a new all-soldier show, called This is the Army. But in his personal life he has problems, because he refuses to marry his fiancée until the war is over. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's your own army - in the army's own show!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's This Is the Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(1942) Stage: "This Is the Army" premiered on Broadway. Musical revue. Music / lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by James McColl and Irving Berlin. Musical Director: Milton Rosenstock. Dialogue for Minstrel Show by Pvt. Jack Mendelsohn, Pfc. Richard Burdick and Pvt. Tom McDonnell. Music arrangements for dances by Pvt. Melvin Pahl. Scenic Design / Costume Design by Pvt. John Koenig. Choreographed by Cpl. Edgar Nelson Barclift and Sgt. Robert Sidney. Additional direction by Joshua Logan. Military Formations by Chester O'Brien. Directed by Sgt. Ezra Stone. Broadway Theatre: 4 Jul 1942-26 Sep 1942 (113 performances). Cast: Pvt. Jus Addiss, Alan Anderson, Arthur Atkins, Pvt. Leonard Berchman, Eugene Leander Berg, Sgt. Irving Berlin, Dick Bernie, Pvt. Howard Brooks, Marion Brown, Peter J. Burns, Joe Bush, Pvt. Samuel Carr, Pvt. Stewart Churchill, Joe Cook Jr., Pvt. Belmonte Cristiani, Cpl. James A. Cross, Pvt. Louis de Milhau, Ross Elliott, Derek Fairman, Pvt. Ray Goss, Dan Healy, Hank Henry, William Home, Richard Irving, Burl Ives, Fred Kelly, Harold J. Kennedy, Pvt. Robert Kinne, Alan Manson, Pvt. Ralph Margelssen, James McColl, Sgt. John Mendes, Pvt. Gary Merrill, Pvt. Pinkie Mitchell, Robert Moore, John Murphy, Peter O'Neill, Pvt. Jules Oshins, Earl Oxford, Tileston Perry, Pvt. William Pillich, Richard Reeves, Jack Riano, William Roerick, Hayden Rorke, Pfc. Anthony Ross, Louis Salmon, Robert Shanley, Sgt. Robert Sidney, Sgt. Arthur Steiner, Sgt. The Allon Trio, Philip Truex, Norman Van Emburgh, Pvt. Claude Watson, Pvt. Larry Weeks, Pvt. William Wykoff. Produced by Uncle Sam (U.S. Government). See more »

Goofs

The map showing the German attack on Poland on September 1, 1939 shows the Austrian-Czech border from 1937. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Jones: Will you marry me tonight?
Ethel: Well, of course.
Jerry Jones: Wonderful. Congratulations, darling, you're a war bride. I've just been drafted.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the Credits, the cast members are listed in the following order: first the members, who never served in World War II, than the members of the US Armed Forces, starting with Lt. Ronald Reagan. See more »

Connections

Featured in Frontline: Secret Daughter (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Earl Oxford
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An American Success Story
27 November 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Most of Irving Berlin's shows on Broadway were revues and not book type shows. For that reason they're not frequently revived. All of them contain topical jokes that only history majors like myself would get now. But the extreme topicality of This Is The Army and its World War I predecessor Yip Yap Yaphank guarantee you don't see this one revived too often no matter how many good songs come from it.

Even to do This Is The Army we have a threadbare plot of sorts. George Murphy is a song and dance man doing the lead in the Ziegfeld Follies when he gets his draft notice for World War I. Like Irving Berlin in real life, he offers to put his entertainment talents at the army's disposal. Murphy also marries Rosemary DeCamp at the same time he goes in the army.

Flash forward to a new World War and Murphy's son Ronald Reagan is going out with Joan Leslie who's the daughter of Charles Butterworth another performer from the Yip Yap Yaphank show back in the day. Reagan gets his draft notice just like dear old dad and he says let's put on a show for the boys. Of course dear old dad volunteers to help as do other veterans of the World War I show.

One thing that Warner's was smart about, they didn't give Ronald Reagan any singing or dancing to do. Reagan's talents such as they are were confined to behind the curtain.

A lot of Hollywood regulars are mixed with members of the original cast of actual soldiers who put on This Is The Army on Broadway. The score is also a mixed one with Irving Berlin allowing several of his older numbers mixed in with the Broadway score of This Is The Army. Most particularly God Bless America which Kate Smith had introduced in 1939 and sang in the film. It dwarfs all the other numbers in the score by comparison, in fact it's only rival in popularity in this film is Irving Berlin's soldier's lament of Oh How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning. And that originally comes from Yip Yap Yaphank. And of course that other barracks ballad telling what civilians will have to do without, the title song of the show and the film.

This Is The Army is dated flag-waving to be sure, but as Irving Berlin said in another song in another show, do you know of a better flag to wave? Both Yip Yap Yaphank and This Is The Army are the product of an immigrant kid who escaped poverty and persecution in the old world of Europe. If Irving Berlin's life isn't the American success story than I don't know a better example. He was grateful to his adopted country and these shows were his way of payback.

I doubt if B picture actor Ronald Reagan had the remotest conception that he would be sitting in the White House as a tenant one day and that he would be giving the nation's greeting to Irving Berlin on his 100th birthday. But that's an American success story too.


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