7.8/10
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40 user 29 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

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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 Jimmy Conlin ... Judge Dennis
Jimmie Dundee 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:

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! (original print ad - all caps) 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

Al Bridge is listed in the credits as the "Political Boss", but he is referred to by first name as "Jake". Jake sends out an enquiry by telegram to the San Diego Marine Base and receives a telegram reply that is addressed to "JACOB F BRIDGE". 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: Look, I didn't get you in this.
Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith: Oh, yes you did. I was gonna hide in the...
Sgt. Heppelfinger: A Marine never hides. That's what Semper Fidelis means: it means "face the music".
Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith: Well, it does not. It happens to mean "always faithful".
Sgt. Heppelfinger: That's right. Faithful to your mother.
Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith: It doesn't mean faithful to your mother at all. it means faithful to the Marines.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Aladdin (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Home to the Arms of Mother
(1944) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Preston Sturges
Orchestral arrangement by Charles Bradshaw
Vocal arrangements by Joseph J. Lilley
Sung by Julie Gibson and The Guardsmen
Played also in the score
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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