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A girl is desperate to get to Washington D.C. to be with her lonesome brother, a wounded G.I. But train travel is impossible just after the war. She pleads with an exasperated railroad agent for something, anything. He suggests she go to Paramount Pictures and talk to Bing Crosby, who is in charge of a Victory War Bonds show. The government has arranged a special caravan to Washington for the Hollywood stars. Maybe she could get a ride with them. The next morning, she arrives at the studio. She manages to get past the studio guard, who chases her around the lot. She encounters many stars, including Robert Benchley, Barbara Stanwyck and Alan Ladd. Finally, she meets Bing. The trouble is, if she wants Bing's upper berth, she will have to persuade Bob Hope to share his lower berth. Written by
But ma - but madam if you - You're exasperated? Well, I hope you don't think this is any easy job - Well, goodbye!
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"The Treasury Department once again extends its thanks to the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry, for actively participating in this Victory Loan Campaign. Thanks to the producers and distributors... to those exhibitors who sell war bonds day and night in their theatres... and thanks to the stars and craftsmen who so generously gave of their time to make this film possible. -- Ted R. Gamble, National War Finance Director See more »
The 'Road to' movies box set saved this beaut from the road to obscurity
Wonderful little Hollywood short, a time capsule filmed shortly after the end of WWII.
Bond drives were a regular occurrence during the war years with many movie stars 'fee-lessly' donating their time and talent to promote the necessity of War Bonds, (An ingenious way for normal everyday people to 'back the attack' by helping to fund the war without putting too much strain on the government treasury). To illustrate the importance that movie stars played in bond drives, Carole Lombard was actually killed in a plane crash in 1942 while tirelessly dedicating herself to the War Bond cause.
Every studio and every star wanted to do their part with all the big studio's producing either All-Star feature's such as Warner Brothers 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' and MGM's 'Thousand's Cheer' (Both 1943), or short patriotic reminder's such as this little Gem from Paramount.
The message for this film had changed from "You buy a bond we make a bomb" into "You buy a bond and we can bring a GI back home" The BIG names who turned up to do very little for no payment just to support the cause are Barbara Stanwyck, Alan Ladd, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dona Drake, Betty Hutton, Robert Benchley and a Warner Brother's star who on this occasion decided to arrive at the wrong studio, Humphrey Bogart, and it's good to see a few much missed yet lesser known character actors of the period as well such as William Demarest and the wonderful Franklin Pangborn.
Yet again the producers give another diplomatic nod of the head to South America who had remained neutral throughout the hostilities while doing little or nothing else. This tribute is performed by Paramount contract actress Olga San Juan, who's Latino sounding name hardly distracted anyone from the fact that she was actually a blonde Brooklyn born babe.
San Juan was on course to be Paramount's first post-war mega star, and it is likely that her inclusion was mainly for Paramount to market their new find because with San Juan's star on the rise, this short would give her some much needed exposure as this movie was distributed free of charge to most theatre's. Sadly, it wasn't to be as after her brilliant, (and I do mean brilliant), performance in Paramount's Variety Girl in 1947 (once again starring Hope & Crosby), the interest from the public was no longer there as tastes had noticeably changed since the war's end.
San Juan made only a handful of movies in her short career and as the 1940's gave way to the 1950's she had slipped into celluloid obscurity in fact, had it not been for her near 30 year marriage to Edmond O'Brien, I doubt many would even remember her name, but whatever special something it took to be a movie star, boy did she have it.
Hollywood Victory Caravan is a product of it's time dated it may be, but had it not been for the presence of the big names (most importantly Hope & Crosby), I very much doubt it would still be in existence, in fact it upsets me just thinking about how many of the countless movie shorts made in Hollywood's golden era, have already succumbed to either nature's elements or time's indifference. Thankfully this one has been preserved forever by being included on the 'Road To' movies Box set as part of the special feature's on Road To Utopia, so people of a younger generation such as myself can see and hopefully enjoy this long forgotten time-warp into Hollywood past. Enjoy!
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