A filmed broadcast of the Command Performance radio programs in which various Hollywood stars appeared and performed in accordance with letter requests from American service men stationed ...
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A filmed broadcast of the Command Performance radio programs in which various Hollywood stars appeared and performed in accordance with letter requests from American service men stationed around the world. Transcriptions were made of each program and sent to American posts and camps around the world. This entry (Army-Navy Screen Magazine No. 20) was broadcast and filmed at a live performace at Camp Roberts, California. Lana Turner, via a request from a group of soldiers, fried a steak, which was brought on stage accompanied by armed guards since this was a rationed and rare item during the war years. Betty Hutton sung "Murder, He Says" and Judy Garland did "Over the Rainbow", and all three guest stars swapped quips and banter with emcee Bob Hope, with Hope usually on the butt-end of the jokes. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This short is a filmed radio broadcast of Command Performance--one of a series of shows dedicated to American servicemen during WWII. The idea, of course, is to remind soldiers of what they are fighting for. Bob Hope brings out three outstanding examples of American womanhood and facilitates the fantasies of military men from afar.
Betty Hutton's rendition of "Murder, He Says" is full of energy, accented by her quirky but cute facial tics and some jive moves that are a joyous celebration.
Hope then trades jokes with Lana Turner about sizzling steaks. His trademark one-liners are perfect for this radio.
Judy Garland sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"--a real slice of Americana.
All in all, this film is a poignant reminder of how war makes men appreciate the small things. Hollywood did a good job of keeping a happy face for those in harm's way. Viewing this film--and knowing now what horrors faced the servicemen and civilians of the time--is a glimpse back at a schizophrenic world, made all the more precious as a reminder of dedication to the survival of freedoms.
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