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This Is the Army (1943)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, War | 14 August 1943 (USA)
In WWI dancer Jerry Jones stages an all-soldier show on Broadway, called Yip Yip Yaphank. Wounded in the war, he becomes a producer. In WWII his son Johnny Jones, who was before his ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screenplay), Claude Binyon (screenplay) (as Capt. Claude Binyon)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Murphy ... Jerry Jones
Joan Leslie ... Eileen Dibble
George Tobias ... Maxie Twardofsky
Alan Hale ... Sgt. McGee
Charles Butterworth ... Eddie Dibble
Dolores Costello ... Mrs. Davidson
Una Merkel ... Rose Dibble
Stanley Ridges ... Maj. John B. Davidson
Rosemary DeCamp ... Ethel Jones
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. O'Brien
Dorothy Peterson ... Mrs. Nelson
Frances Langford ... Frances Langford
Gertrude Niesen ... World War One Vocalist
Kate Smith ... Kate Smith
Ronald Reagan ... Johnny Jones (as Lt. Ronald Reagan)
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Storyline

In WWI dancer Jerry Jones stages an all-soldier show on Broadway, called Yip Yip Yaphank. Wounded in the war, he becomes a producer. In WWII his son Johnny Jones, who was before his father's assistant, gets the order to stage a new all-soldier show, called This is the Army. But in his personal life he has problems, because he refuses to marry his fiancée until the war is over. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's your own army - in the army's own show!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Irving Berlin was filming his rendition of "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning", one of the stagehands, unaware of who the singer was, supposedly said that if the guy who wrote the song could hear Berlin's singing, he'd roll over in his grave. See more »

Goofs

In the montage of the show tour around the USA, the same city set is used for Cleveland and Washington DC without even bothering to change the shop signs: "Century Antique Shop" and "Yvonne Milliner" are visible in both "cities". See more »

Quotes

Maj. John B. Davidson: That was the war to end all wars. And now we got a new one. Well, what are we waiting for? A new war? Or a new show!
Sgt. McGee: I knew it! Sir.
Maj. John B. Davidson: Well, Jerry, what do you say? Will you help?
Jerry Jones: Sure, I'll help. It will be something fine for the boys to remember; because, I'm afraid there will be a lot of it they'll want to forget. Incidentally, Colonel, it just reminded me. I've got a son right here at the camp. He's got a little talent. Maybe we can use him?
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This motion picture is distributed for the benefit of the US Army emergency relief fund" See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally shown with a pre-credits overture and exit music after the film ends, both of which have been restored on the official DVD release. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

We're on Our Way to France
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by George Murphy, Chorus
See more »

User Reviews

 
An American Success Story
27 November 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Most of Irving Berlin's shows on Broadway were revues and not book type shows. For that reason they're not frequently revived. All of them contain topical jokes that only history majors like myself would get now. But the extreme topicality of This Is The Army and its World War I predecessor Yip Yap Yaphank guarantee you don't see this one revived too often no matter how many good songs come from it.

Even to do This Is The Army we have a threadbare plot of sorts. George Murphy is a song and dance man doing the lead in the Ziegfeld Follies when he gets his draft notice for World War I. Like Irving Berlin in real life, he offers to put his entertainment talents at the army's disposal. Murphy also marries Rosemary DeCamp at the same time he goes in the army.

Flash forward to a new World War and Murphy's son Ronald Reagan is going out with Joan Leslie who's the daughter of Charles Butterworth another performer from the Yip Yap Yaphank show back in the day. Reagan gets his draft notice just like dear old dad and he says let's put on a show for the boys. Of course dear old dad volunteers to help as do other veterans of the World War I show.

One thing that Warner's was smart about, they didn't give Ronald Reagan any singing or dancing to do. Reagan's talents such as they are were confined to behind the curtain.

A lot of Hollywood regulars are mixed with members of the original cast of actual soldiers who put on This Is The Army on Broadway. The score is also a mixed one with Irving Berlin allowing several of his older numbers mixed in with the Broadway score of This Is The Army. Most particularly God Bless America which Kate Smith had introduced in 1939 and sang in the film. It dwarfs all the other numbers in the score by comparison, in fact it's only rival in popularity in this film is Irving Berlin's soldier's lament of Oh How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning. And that originally comes from Yip Yap Yaphank. And of course that other barracks ballad telling what civilians will have to do without, the title song of the show and the film.

This Is The Army is dated flag-waving to be sure, but as Irving Berlin said in another song in another show, do you know of a better flag to wave? Both Yip Yap Yaphank and This Is The Army are the product of an immigrant kid who escaped poverty and persecution in the old world of Europe. If Irving Berlin's life isn't the American success story than I don't know a better example. He was grateful to his adopted country and these shows were his way of payback.

I doubt if B picture actor Ronald Reagan had the remotest conception that he would be sitting in the White House as a tenant one day and that he would be giving the nation's greeting to Irving Berlin on his 100th birthday. But that's an American success story too.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's This Is the Army See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$20,831,178
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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