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When people bemoan the glory days of Hollywood in general and MGM in particular, they forget that, back in the day when Hollywood made a LOT more movies than it does now, even MGM also made not just bad movies along with good ones, but also some very weak movies, which this most certainly is.
What is amazing, indeed downright unbelievable, is that the worst part of this movie, the dishpan water thin script, was nominated for an Oscar. Granted, it was a weak year for that category, Original Screenplay. The other nominees were Dillinger, Music for Millions, Salty O'Rourke, and Marie-Louise. Have you seen any of them?
It tells the supposedly funny misadventures of the hapless Cpl Marion Hargrove of the U.S. Army in the days after the Normandy landing. Hargrove and his platoon get sidetracked in a small Normand town, Marennes. (There is actually a town named Marennes in France, but it's in SW France, nowhere near Normandy.) There is some lame comedy with the pompous small-town mayor and his libidinous daughter, all obvious and forgettable. Then Hargrove and his friend (Keenan Wynn) head toward Paris by mistake. More misadventures. Plot lines run into dead ends. It isn't funny, or original, or interesting.
Except for 5 minutes in the middle of everything, when Hargrove ends up working at an observation post, helping his superior officers call in firing instructions to the battery that is shelling a German outpost. Suddenly the movie becomes serious, and the script sounds as if the writers really knew what they were talking about.
And then it goes back to more nonsense.
It's not worth the time it takes to watch this. If you have the time to kill, it would be better to take a nap. You'll get more out of it.
Unless you want to see what Hollywood, and even MGM, used to turn out between their unquestioned masterpieces in the days before television when the big studios ground out hundreds, rather than dozens, of pictures a year to feed the then insatiable American hunger for new movies.
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