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Up in Arms (1944)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 528 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

Hypochondriac Danny Weems gets drafted into the army and makes life miserable for his fellow GIs. He's also lovesick when it comes to pretty Mary Morgan, unaware that she's in love with his... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original screen play by), (original screen play by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Up in Arms (1944)

Up in Arms (1944) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Danny Weems
...
Virginia
...
Joe
Constance Dowling ...
Mary Morgan
The Goldwyn Girls
Knox Manning ...
Narration (voice)
...
Colonel Ashley
George Mathews ...
Blackie
Benny Baker ...
Butterball
...
Info Jones
...
Sgt. Gelsey
Walter Catlett ...
Major Brock
George Meeker ...
Ashley's Aide
Tom Keene ...
Ashley's Aide (as Richard Powers)
Margaret Dumont ...
Mrs. Willoughby
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Storyline

Hypochondriac Danny Weems gets drafted into the army and makes life miserable for his fellow GIs. He's also lovesick when it comes to pretty Mary Morgan, unaware that she's in love with his best friend Joe. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1944 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Up in Arms  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first time that Danny Kaye appeared with Virginia Mayo who went on to star with him in four additional films. She appears as one of the "Goldwyn Girls". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Now I Know
(1944)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Sung by Dinah Shore (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Only Funny -- But Psychedelic FreakyWeird: Way Ahead of Its Time
25 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just saw this for the first time. I'm an old Danny Kaye fan -- grew up with Court Jester & other DK films; always appreciated his particular genius.

I only saw the second half of this film -- but it just blew me away. Of course, it already features the trademark Danny Kaye combination of showmanship, clowning, doe-eyed sincerity, patter-songs and absolutely beautiful vocal control that others mention here. And that is truly impressive. Also impressive in this film is the playing with gender, which is something DK could always get away with, but here comes out as particularly hyper and intense.

But what really shocked me was how ahead of its time this film was. Made during WWII, and absolutely full of patriotism and wartime idealism, all somehow mixed together with the idealism of romance and home and family, this was clearly a 1944 deal, with fake-looking classic Hollywood sound stage warships and sea scenes. But it looks much more like something out of 1955 or, God help us, 1966.

They don't really hide from that sound-set fakeness, esp. in the truly weird dream sequences, and the whole thing ends up looking more like Bob Fosse than the WWII propaganda film it's also trying to be. These sequences feature sets and costumes in co-ordinated "hot" pastels, a bartender-cum-minister-cum-scat singer, and I kid you not a bright sky blue goat. This segues into a scene with intense women in skimpy black clothing (think Robt Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video from the 1980s meets a 1890's bordello), some of whom are mounted/pinned/crucifed on trees/crosses/black wings set on poles.

In front of this, Danny Kaye in a devilish red suit does some of the most pure and outrageous absurdities I have EVER seen him do -- phasing in and out like the young Robin Williams on cocaine, switching into and out of a pastiche of popular song styles, slang, scat and African-American impersonation as if he were a black guy pretending to be a white guy pretending to be a black guy pretending to be a black guy. (In most of this, he is echoed capably -- but not brilliantly -- by Dinah Shore.) He is manic and brilliant and so very American and post-modern.

He is also incredibly young, and looks quite a bit like some manic, visionary rock star of today. (He resembles a bit the young Sting or Billy Idol.) And esp. in those fantasy scenes, the intensity combined with the costuming and showmanship made me realize that DK can be seen in that line of intense musical innovators/showmen that includes Prince and probably Jack White of the White Stripes.


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