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A young man joins the Marines during WWII but fails to meet qualifications so is washed out and sent home in a light blue uniform which apparently indicates his status. He meets a real war vet in a bar who wants to go AWOL because he is afraid to be sent back. The Vet mugs the young man in the alley and takes his clothes ,leaving him the war vet uniform to wear. The young man hitchhikes towards home but on the way he stops in a small Colorado mountain town and people think he is a war hero so he gets free food and so forth. A waitress at the cafe invites him home stay with her family an he falls in love. Curiously there is a supposed WWII American-Japanese internment camp very nearby in the woods and some scenes are included that make you think it is important to the plot. In reality there never was any such camps in the woods near a town. The only Colorado camp was near Granada in the bleak wilderness areas of the dry flats of Colorado. Later three American-Japanese teen boys escape ...Written by
Final film (uncredited) of John Drew Barrymore. NOTE: After finishing this film he left the industry and became a recluse for the next 25 years. See more »
During the flag ceremony at the Japaneses Internment Camp, the wrong bugle call is sounded. They are lowering the flag at the end of the day, and that is called a "Retreat" ceremony. The bugle call you are hearing is, "Retreat", which is the first of two bugle calls that are sounded. When "Retreat" is sounded, it lets everyone know to stop and face towards the flag. The salute isn't presented until the second bugle call, "To The Colors", begins, as the flag is being lowered. In this movie, we never actually hear the bugle call, "To The Colors". See more »
Courage was something you found. Love was something you won.
Very appealing stateside WWII drama stars then-hot Jan-Michael Vincent as Marion "Hedge" Hedgepeth, who, before long, flunks out of his basic training as a Marine, and is sent home in a baby blue uniform in disgrace. During the journey, he encounters an actual young veteran (Richard Gere, in a memorable bit) who's desperate to avoid being sent back into battle. So the vet mugs Hedge (well, so to speak...he actually LEAVES him a few dollars), and all Hedge has to wear is the vets' uniform. On his way back home, he stops in a small Colorado town, and is naturally thought to be a war hero by the locals. He's so endearing to them, and they to him, that he can't bring himself to tell them the truth.
Written by Stanford Whitmore ("Hammersmith Is Out", "The Dark"), and directed by John D. Hancock ("Let's Scare Jessica to Death", "Bang the Drum Slowly"), this is an enjoyable little film worth rediscovering. While not altogether believable (for some reason, there's a Japanese internment camp right in the woods near this town), it gets by on a certain amount of charm, just like its lead character. In fact, a citizen named Hudkins (Bert Remsen), with whose daughter Rose (Glynnis O'Connor) Hedge falls in love, surmises that he's too *nice* and *innocent* to seem like a hardened killer.
Overall, the film does get pretty dramatic, and takes on the tone of a fable, but it never veers too far into unpleasantness. Excellent location shooting in & near the California towns of Weed and McCloud gives it atmosphere and a fine feeling of Americana, and the score by Fred Karlin is excellent.
Vincent was then at the peak of his career as a leading man in film, and he couldn't be more likable. O'Connor is adorable as the romantic interest, and Katherine Helmond, Dana Elcar, Bert Remsen, Bruno Kirby, Gere (sporting shocking bleach blonde hair), Art Lund, Michael Conrad, Allan Miller, Kenneth Tobey, Lelia Goldoni, Marshall Efron, and Barton Heyman comprise a rock solid supporting cast. Adam Arkin has one of his earliest big screen roles as a boy named "Rupe".
Well worth a look, especially if you like cinema set during this period, or are a fan of Vincent.
Seven out of 10.
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