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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:

from the Miracle Men of "Morgan's Creek" 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

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American 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

Sgt. Heppelfinger: They say opportunity's only got one hair on his head and you gotta grab it while it's going by and dog it down or you mightn't get another chance.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Chill (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

My Ideal
(1930)(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Newell Chase
Lyrics by Leo Robin
See more »

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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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