Hail the Conquering Hero ()

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Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving a heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Woodrow Truesmith
Mayor Everett J. Noble
Sgt. Heffelfinger
Reception Committee Chairman
Aunt Martha
Mrs. Truesmith
Political Boss
Freddie Steele ...
Forrest Noble
Doc Bissell
Judge Dennis
Jimmie Dundee ...
Cpl. Candida
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Anderson ...
Bartender (uncredited)
William Brandt ...
One of the Guardsmen (uncredited)
Train Ticket Clerk (uncredited)
Western Union Man (uncredited)
James Damore ...
Pfc. Jones (uncredited)
Pauline Drake ...
Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Mamie's Mother (uncredited)
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Town Councilman (uncredited)
Maxine Fife ...
Daughter of Colonel (uncredited)
Woman at Train Station (uncredited)
Singer (uncredited)
Kenneth Gibson ...
Town Councilman (uncredited)
Stephen Gregory ...
Bill (uncredited)
The Guardsmen ...
Singing Quartet (uncredited)
Man Swigging Beer at the Bar (uncredited)
Wife of Marine Colonel (uncredited)
Len Hendry ...
Juke (uncredited)
Mrs. Everett J. Noble (uncredited)
Rev. Upperman (uncredited)
Earl Hunsaker ...
One of the Guardsmen (uncredited)
Henry Iblings ...
One of the Guardsmen (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ...
Townswoman (uncredited)
Allen Kay ...
Village Photographer (uncredited)
Ida Kitaeva ...
Dancer (uncredited)
Dudley Kuzelle ...
One of the Guardsmen (uncredited)
Town Councilman (uncredited)
Town Councilman (uncredited)
Sheriff (uncredited)
Mr. Schultz (uncredited)
The Porter (uncredited)
Town Painter (uncredited)
Tap Dancer (uncredited)
Marjean Neville ...
Mamie (uncredited)
Second Bandleader (uncredited)
Townsman (uncredited)
Cafe Owner (uncredited)
Progressive Bandleader (uncredited)
Train Conductor (uncredited)
Merrill Rodin ...
Alfie (uncredited)
John Sinclair ...
American Legion Bandleader (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ...
Townsman (uncredited)
Marine Colonel (uncredited)

Directed by

Preston Sturges

Written by

Preston Sturges ... (written by)

Produced by

Buddy G. DeSylva ... executive producer (uncredited)
Preston Sturges ... producer (uncredited)

Music by

Werner R. Heymann ... (music score) (as Werner Heymann)

Cinematography by

John F. Seitz ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Stuart Gilmore ... (edited by)

Casting By

Robert Mayo ... (uncredited)

Art Direction by

Haldane Douglas
Hans Dreier

Set Decoration by

Stephen Seymour ... (set decorations)

Costume Design by

Edith Head ... (costumes)

Makeup Department

Wally Westmore ... makeup artist
Dick Johnson ... makeup (uncredited)
Web Overlander ... makeup (uncredited)
Gertrude Reade ... hair (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Harvey Foster ... assistant director (uncredited)
Howard Joslin ... second assistant director: retakes (uncredited)
John Robert Murphy ... second assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Evelyn Glatt ... assistant set dresser (uncredited)
Joe Keller ... props (uncredited)
Oscar Law ... props (uncredited)
John MacNeil ... assistant set dresser (uncredited)
Walter Tyler ... art director: retakes (uncredited)

Sound Department

Wallace Nogle ... sound recordist
Walter Oberst ... sound recordist
A.M. Asher ... boom operator (uncredited)
Duffy Hamener ... recordist: retakes (uncredited)
Gene Merritt ... mixer: retakes (uncredited)
August Van Koughnet ... recordist (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

William Austin ... grip (uncredited)
Ray Guy ... electrician (uncredited)
Warren Hoag ... electrician (uncredited)
Jack Hoffman ... still photographer (uncredited)
Gene Liggett ... assistant camera: retakes (uncredited)
Walter McLeod ... grip (uncredited)
Ed O'Toole ... stills: retakes (uncredited)
Otto Pierce ... second camera (uncredited)
William Rand ... second camera: retakes (uncredited)
Theodor Sparkuhl ... camera: retakes (uncredited)
Chet Stafford ... gaffer (uncredited)
Harlow Stengel ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Walt Taylor ... gaffer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Louis Brown ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Thelma Courtmarsh ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joe Herrington ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Emie Moore ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Music Department

Sigmund Krumgold ... musical director
Joseph J. Lilley ... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt ... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Victor Young ... composer: stock music (uncredited)

Other crew

Richard Blaydon ... business manager (uncredited)
Teet Carle ... publicist (uncredited)
Howard Davis ... assistant business manager (uncredited)
Edwin Gillette ... secretary: Mr. Sturges (uncredited)
La Prele Jones ... script clerk (uncredited)
Ernst Laemmle ... assistant to the producer (uncredited)
Frank Moran ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 Keywords
Taglines MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Héros d'occasion (France)
  • Salve, héroe victorioso (Spain)
  • Helten længe leve (Denmark)
  • Herói de Mentira (Brazil)
  • Laureles ajenos (Uruguay)
  • See more »
  • 101 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia As the marines are leaving the Oakridge station, a billboard behind them is advertising The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1943), another film by Preston Sturges. 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer (1990). See more »
Soundtracks Mademoiselle from Armentieres See more »
Quotes Mayor Everett D. Noble: This problem is not local, it's national. In a few years, if the war goes on - heaven forbid - you won't be able to swing a cat without knocking down a couple of heroes. Now... are we going to be governed by young men - very young men - however well-meaning or patriotic they may be - whose principal talent consists of hopping in and out of wolfholes...
Political Boss: Foxholes.
Mayor Everett D. Noble: Huh?
Political Boss: They're called foxholes.
Mayor Everett D. Noble: ...talent consists of hopping in and out of foxholes and killing hundreds of enemies with one swoop of the sword. Or... are we going to be governed by respectable civic leaders of mature age who do not seek the appointment, but accept it as a civic duty. I refer to men like... uh, well... myself.
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