Seeing this movie consolidated 2 things for me: Sturges's genius and an interesting view of life in the United States during World War II. This is at the same time a fascinating sociological study and a sample of what made Sturges a popular director/writer. The history of motion pictures takes us through a long (more than 30-year) period during which no sound was available except that provided in the performance space--organ, orchestra or piano music. During that time, performers were made up to emphasize facial expressions, and they mimed and mugged for the camera, using broad gestures and waiting for reactions and intertitles. When sound came in, slapstick mostly went out, and writers flocked to Hollywood to make the sophisticated comedies so popular in the 30s. Sturges deftly combined the physical comedy of the early Chaplin/Sennett/Keaton/Lloyd era with the sophisticated comedy of the early talkies. Watch William Damarest mug in this movie, or the perfection of his pratfalls. His portrayal of physical comedy is worthy of the best early Sennett or Chaplain or Keaton. At the same time, there is sophisticated talk, social commentary and political satire. Akim Tamiroff as "The Boss" is a wonderful little portrayal of the influence of "Tammany Hall" tyrants on politics in the US of this time. Hutton gets a chance to do comedy denied elsewhere, and she shows good timing and an ability to laugh at her own public image. Eddie Bracken is a well put-together package of the Sturges comedy trademark: physical humor, good comedic timing, articulate performance just a little beyond the fringe but not too broad for the time (remember that Laurel and Hardy were simultaneously competing for screens). This is a great movie for students of film, US history and culture, and of comedy.