G.I. Sergeant Shep Dooley, former stage star awaiting discharge in postwar Tokyo, meets his estranged love Kay when she arrives to entertain the troops. Shep, who hasn't exactly lost his former irresponsibility, does his best to court Kay anew...but she has no lack of other admirers as she labors to put on a soldier show.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Shep Dooley hops a ride on a rickshaw to reach his military base and passes a stonewall flower garden. Several hours and a very tired rickshaw runner later, he reaches his destination, and we pass the very same flower garden. See more »
How do you like that? An American Greek copying Japanese numbers in English. Boy is this Army gonna be mixed up.
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"Call Me Mister" is an interesting film on a number of counts. It's billed as a musical, in the form of a musical revue within a story. Betty Grable and Dan Dailey Star as Kay Hudson and Shep Dooley. He is a GI in occupied Japan sometime after the end of World War II, who tries to woo Kay. She is his old love from before the war who has arrived to organize entertainment shows for the soldiers.
The film is also interesting for something of the history that it shows. At the time it came out, the Korean War was being fought (June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953). Grable's Hudson is in a uniform with a shoulder patch that reads "CAT." I had never heard of this before, but in checking it out I found that CAT stood for Civilian Actress Technician. The CATs were an entertainment program created during the Korean War for the U.S. Army. They would travel to Army posts outside the U.S., and organize, set up and direct entertainment using the GIs themselves.
The film has a screwy opening with dates. People are waiting in New York when at 7 p.m. on Aug. 14, 1945, Pres, Truman announces that Japan has surrendered. Then it switches immediately to Japan and American GIs marching at a replacement depot - the 4th Replacement Depot, Camp Zama, in Tokyo. While American occupation officially started with Japan's surrender, American units and servicemen began moving in and setting up house over the next few weeks. But, if the CATs weren't organized until the Korean War, then the setting of this film would be at least five years after the end of WW II.
The performance that the CATs organize is given in the Ernie Pyle theater. It was named after the famous and beloved WW II journalist who was killed near end of the war on a small island off Okinawa on April 18, 1945. Pyle won a Pulitzer Prize for his war reporting about individual GIs and their hometowns and families.
This is one of the few films in which the Dunhill Trio danced. Others in the cast include Dale Robertson, Richard Boone and Jeffrey Hunter. The film is okay but nothing special. The music and dance numbers take up just a small portion. The story itself and screenplay are just so-so.
Here are a couple of good lines.
Kay Hudson, "Well, captain, I'll be brief." Capt. Johnny Comstock, "Oh, please don't."
Stanley, played by Danny Thomas, "How do you like that. An American Greek copying Japanese numbers in English. Boy is this Army gonna be mixed up."
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