7.6/10
4,261
46 user 30 critic

Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

Passed | | Comedy, War | September 1944 (USA)
Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving a heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writer:

Preston Sturges
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Eddie Bracken ... Woodrow Truesmith
Ella Raines ... Libby
Raymond Walburn ... Mayor Everett J. Noble
William Demarest ... Sgt. Heffelfinger
Franklin Pangborn ... Reception Committee Chairman
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Martha
Georgia Caine ... Mrs. Truesmith
Al Bridge ... Political Boss
Freddie Steele Freddie Steele ... Bugsy
Bill Edwards ... Forrest Noble
Harry Hayden Harry Hayden ... Doc Bissell
Jimmy Conlin ... Judge Dennis
Jimmie Dundee ... Cpl. Candida
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The unwilling father of Morgan's Creek becomes the unwilling hero of Oak Ridge. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Camera shadow on the backs of citizens when Woodrow comes out of the house after being nominated for mayor. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Truesmith: Why can't you wear your uniform for a little while?
Libby's Aunt: You look so nice in it.
Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith: I just got through explaining it's against regulations.
Mrs. Truesmith: Well, I think that's perfectly ridiculous.
Libby: So do I.
Mrs. Truesmith: Your grandfather wore his Civil War uniform the rest of his life.
Libby's Aunt: Kept having new ones made.
Mrs. Truesmith: Said it helped remind people that brother fought brother.
Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith: [looking at Sgt. Heppelfinger] Well his case was different!
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Connections

Referenced in Baby's Day Out (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

We Want Woodrow
(1944) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Preston Sturges
Arranged by Charles Bradshaw\b
Sung by the crowd
See more »

User Reviews

 
Sturges' best!
3 May 1999 | by Doogie DSee all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hail the Conquering Hero See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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