During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were ...
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S. Sylvan Simon
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Charles 'Pittsburgh' Markham rides roughshod over his friends, his lovers, and his ideals in his trek toward financial success in the Pittsburgh steel industry, only to find himself ... See full summary »
During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were meant as morale-boosters to both the troops overseas and the civilians at home. This was Universal Pictures' effort. It features everyone from Donald O'Connor to the Andrews Sisters to Orson Welles to W.C. Fields to George Raft to Marlene Dietrich, and dozens of other Universal players. Written by
Follow The Boys was one of several "entertaining the troops" films made during World War II. The plots often revolved around personal conflict for the characters that is war related. The films usually pat show business on the back for what it's doing for the troops. Finally, there are lots of speciality numbers by popular performers of the day. Follow The Boys stays true to the formula, but with some interesting touches. First, it provides some background on the organization necessary to put entertainment units together. Second, some footage was shot at actual performances before audiences of service men and women.
George Raft plays the main character, a dancer turned show organizaer. His dancing makes us realize he is better at organizing shows. As is often the case in these films, the high spots are the speciality numbers, particularly Loius Jordan, Dinah Shore, and amazingly enough, Arthur Rubenstein here. Orson Welles does a fascinating magic act. Jeanette McDonald does a number in a hospital ward singing to injured soldiers. It's contrived, yet moving. Follow The Boys is an interesting, if uneven, WWII artifact.
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