Having been discharged from the Marines for a hayfever condition before ever seeing action, Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) delays the return to his hometown, feeling that he is a failure. While in a moment of melancholy, he meets up with a group of Marines who befriend him and encourage him to return home to his mother by fabricating a story that he was wounded in battle with honorable discharge. They make him wear a uniform complete with medals and is pushed by his new friends into accepting a Hero's welcome when he gets home where he is to be immortalized by a statue that he doesn't want, has songs written about his heroic battle stories, and ends up unwillingly running for mayor. Despite his best efforts to explain the truth, no one will listen.Written by
J. Adam Ingle
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial television broadcasts took place in Seattle 2 February 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), followed by Chicago Saturday 8 February 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Toledo 1 March 1959 on WTOL (Channel 11), and by Omaha 5 March 1959 on KETV (Channel 7); its newfound popularity soon spread across the country as it first aired in Milwaukee 21 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in New York City 30 May 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2, in Phoenix 25 August 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Grand Rapids 11 September 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Asheville 6 November 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), in Johnstown 13 November 1959 on WJAC (Channel 6), in St. Louis 23 January 1960 on KMOX (Channel 4), in Minneapolis 9 March 1960 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Los Angeles 19 August 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 15 July 1961 on WCAU (Channel 10), and in San Francisco 20 August 1961 on KPIX (Channel 5). It was released on DVD 21 November 2006 as one of seven titles in Universal's Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection, and as a single 10 May 2011 as part of the Universal Cinema Classics series. Since that time, it's also enjoyed occasional presentations on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
Camera shadow on the backs of citizens when Woodrow comes out of the house after being nominated for mayor. See more »
A great, great movie; one so-well written and with such astonishing momentum I can watch it twice in one sitting or just sample bits and pieces when I wish. Eddie Bracken, who was pretty hard to take in MIRACLE AT MORGAN'S CREEK, is perfect here. Raymond Walburn's performance is sheer genius; the section in which he dictates his speech first to his son and then his son's fiancee is hilarious -- a masterpiece of verbiage, characterization, and timing. Notice also, the subtle directing, such as when the camera pans in perfect time to catch the re-election poster. Beyond praise.
CONQUERING HERO packs an emotional wallop lacking, I think, in Sturges' other movies -- and I mean emotion other than joy and giddiness, of course. Bracken's speeches which frame the film are beautifully written, directed, and performed; the last speech is terribly moving.
Sturges lost his Paramount deal after this film, and never quite regained his footing. That famous clutch of films culminates here in his best film, and all his ingenuity and grace are firmly in place. God bless Preston Sturges.
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