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The story takes place in 1940. On the eve of America's entry in World War II, a colonel retired to his small Southern town, and discovers that there is a plan afoot to tear down Confederate Monument Square. He begins a campaign to rally the townspeople to save the square. Written by
Charles Coburn plays a lovable old veteran who returns to his hometown of Fredricksville, Georgia as World War II commences. There, he finds nephew William Eythe, who helps facilitate a job for his uncle on the town newspaper. Also on staff is society gal Joan Bennett. Mr. Coburn uses his newspaper column "On the Firing Line" to rally the townspeople
he wants to save an old town Courthouse from being torn down, and
replaced. Can he rally the townspeople to save the monument from demolition?
Although the Courthouse in danger is a Confederate Courthouse, there is no political agenda offered by the film - it's simply a story about weeding out political corruption, and preserving an old building. There is, however, a stereotypical servant (called "Orderly 98") who isn't too hard to take until his offensive fencing scene with Coburn. The "whistle" which accompanies close-ups of Ms. Bennett's legs is ridiculous. Don't expect authentic Georgia accents. A nice idea, and a competent cast, aren't enough to lift this "Colonel Effingham's Raid".
*** Colonel Effingham's Raid (1/24/46) Irving Pichel ~ Charles Coburn, Joan Bennett, William Eythe, Thurston Hall
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