7.8/10
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Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

Passed | | Comedy, War | 1944 (Turkey)
Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving an heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Mayor Noble
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...
Reception Committee Chairman
...
Aunt Martha
...
Mrs. Truesmith
...
Political Boss
Freddie Steele ...
Bugsy
Bill Edwards ...
Forrest Noble
Harry Hayden ...
Doc Bissell
Jimmy Conlin ...
Judge Dennis
Jimmie Dundee ...
Cpl. Candida
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Storyline

Having been discharged from the Marines for a hayfever condition before ever seeing action, Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) delays the return to his hometown, feeling that he is a failure. While in a moment of melancholy, he meets up with a group of Marines who befriend him and encourage him to return home to his mother by fabricating a story that he was wounded in battle with honorable discharge. They make him wear a uniform complete with medals and is pushed by his new friends into accepting a Hero's welcome when he gets home where he is to be immortalized by a statue that he doesn't want, has songs written about his heroic battle stories, and ends up unwillingly running for mayor. Despite his best efforts to explain the truth, no one will listen. Written by J. Adam Ingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1944 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Herói de Mentira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Bridge is listed in the credits as the "Political Boss", but he is referred to by first name as "Jake". Jake sends out an enquiry by telegram to the San Diego Marine Base and receives a telegram reply that is addressed to "JACOB F BRIDGE". See more »

Goofs

William Demarest's character is call "Sarge" by one of his Marine Corps mates, Marines never refer to their sergeants as "Sarge". See more »

Quotes

[after nothing has gone right]
Committee Chairman: Oh death where is thy sting?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Bridesmaids (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Mademoiselle from Armentieres
(uncredited)
(Also Called "Hinky Dinky Parley Voo")
Music traditional
In the score several times
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Last of the best of Sturges
24 April 2004 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

The last of the really great comedies that Preston Sturges directed had a more serious undertone than his previous films. This is not to say that Hail the Conquering Hero isn't hilarious though. It is just as intelligent, fast-paced, subversive and witty as could be expected from the writer/director of The Lady Eve and The Palm Beach Story.

Eddie Bracken plays Woodrow Truesmith, a would-be marine who was discharged from service for chronic hay fever. Woodrow, whose father died a hero during WWI, hasn't had the heart to tell his mother about his discharge and has been pretending to still be on the front line. When he befriends a group of marines on leave, they dress him up as a hero and bring him home to make his mother happy, not anticipating that his whole town will give him a hero's welcome.

Considering that the film was made during the war, it is surprising the way it satirises the notion of the war hero as well as the attitudes of those who did not go away to fight. The awestruck townspeople are depicted as being rather gullible while the marines are shown as a tough, cohesive unit, if maybe a bit dishonest and mercenary (and in one case slightly unhinged). The film has fine production values and great performances across the board but it is Sturges' script, with its marvellous characterisations and sparkling dialogue, that really shines. If you like Preston Sturges' other, earlier comedies, this film is essential viewing.


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