7.8/10
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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

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

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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 ... Doc Bissell
Jimmy Conlin ... Judge Dennis
Jimmie Dundee Jimmie Dundee ... Cpl. Candida
Edit

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:

When Preston Sturges makes a hit Everybody goes to it. To those who know, the reason's clear; The longest laughs in town are here! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herói de Mentira 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is taken from a musical composition by George Friedrich Handel titled "Hail the Conquering Hero Comes" that was written to commemorate the Duke of Cumberland's victory over the Scots at the Battle of Culloden. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, in the nightclub, there's a shot of a man sitting at a table eating a sandwich. After a quick cutaway the man is smoking and the sandwich is on his plate...untouched. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Heppelfinger: We're just a little bit short of cash, see...
Cafe Owner: Uh, uh.
Sgt. Heppelfinger: ...or I'd never make you this proposition.
Cafe Owner: Ho, ho.
Sgt. Heppelfinger: I was going to save it for the museum, see, but when you're out on a limb you gotta make sacrifices, that's all. You follow me?
Cafe Owner: I'm ahead of you.
Sgt. Heppelfinger: I'm gonna let you in on the ground floor of something very, very rare. You remember when General Yamatoho committed hari-kari?
Cafe Owner: Possibly.
Sgt. Heppelfinger: I happened to be very close by, see.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stan & Ollie (2018) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
WIN WITH WOODROW
10 June 1999 | by renfield54See all my reviews

A tip of the hat to the other commentors of this film. Their comments are enlightened and do justice to a real work of art. Here is my small contribution.

Eddie Bracken does a wonderful job as the meek, pitiful "hero", who just wants to go home. (The word that comes to mind is sanctuary. More than a place, it's a goal and ultimate need.) Home, back to his town, his mother, and his girl.

William Demarest, as the sergeant, shines. He gives a laudable performance. Or is it just him? His "bark" in this film is very reminiscent of another famous role of his, that of the "salty" Uncle Charley on the long running TV sitcom, "My 3 Sons".

The town is a delight. It is a typical small town of 50 years ago (or what we expect one to be). It's a warm friendly place with people you can count on. In typical small town American tradition, the truth is triumphant, everyone pulls together, and a tearful, happy ending is assured. I'm sure that if you close your eyes you'll be able to picture this place in your mind's eye.

A sentimental, funny, patriotic movie that would be very much appreciated during the dark days of war, it's charm still comes through 50 plus years later. It's one of my favorites.....


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