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Journalist Marion Hargrove enters the Army intending to supplement his income by writing about his training experiences. He muddles through basic training at Fort Bragg with the self-serving help of a couple of buddies intent on cutting themselves in on that extra income. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Oddly, despite being a WWII army picture, you'd hardly know that there was a war going on at the time!
Private Hargrove (Robert Walker) is one of the most inept Privates in the US Army and much of the film consists of the Sergeants trying to somehow turn this numb-skull into a decent soldier. But it all seems hopeless and we should be awfully glad there weren't more like him in the service--or else the war might have gone the other way! Oddly, however, I did notice that almost all the soldiers were skinny little squirts--the must rugged among them being Keenan Wynn! In some ways, the film plays a bit like "No Time For Sergeants" but without the hillbilly angle--consisting of a series of screw ups and comedic situations in boot camp and very, very little evidence that an actual war is taking place! However, the film takes a romantic turn when Walker is tricked into a date with lovely Donna Reed. When the two fall in love, the joke's on the fellows who set him up with her. This part of the film is quite sweet and helps to create a more well-rounded film--not just a typical army comedy. And, because he now has some focus in his life, he improves as a soldier and actually is promoted to acting Corporal...which takes him completely by surprise. So can Hargrove get the girl AND be a success in the Army? Tune in and see.
Overall, this is a very slight but pleasant film. Sure, it's a piece of fluff...but nice fluff. There is a sequel--which I have not yet seen. Considering that this was a decent and likable film, I might just give "What next, Corporal Hargrove?" a look.
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