36 user 27 critic

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


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


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


Comedy | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1944 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Herói de Mentira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


As the marines are leaving the Oakridge station, a billboard behind them is advertising The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), another film by Preston Sturges. See more »


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


Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith: [telling the crowd the truth about his discharge] If I could reach as high as my father's shoestrings... my whole life would be justified - and I would stand here before you proudly... instead of as the thief and the coward that I am.
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Referenced in The Big Chill (1983) See more »


Home to the Arms of Mother
(1944) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Preston Sturges
Orchestral arrangement by Charles Bradshaw
Vocal arrangements by Joseph J. Lilley
Sung by Julie Gibson and The Guardsmen
Played also in the score
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User Reviews

IMHO, Sturges's best
10 January 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Sure, I loved "The Palm Beach Story", "Sullivan's Travels", "The Lady Eve", "Miracle of Morgan's Creek", etc., but "Hail the Conquering Hero" holds up best for me. A brilliantly written comedy with very good performances from everyone. I really have nothing else to say except I think it's really pathetic that only 197 people have seen this movie and bothered to vote on it, while the garbage Hollywood serves us today gets thousands of votes. Don't settle for garbage! See THIS movie!

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