Hail the Conquering Hero

Hail the Conquering Hero

Streaming Video - 1944
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Academy Award-winning writer and director Preston Sturges (Sullivan's Travels) delivers a hilarious satire on the American penchant for hero worship in Hail the Conquering Hero. Born on the day his father died a hero in WWI, Woodrow Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) enlists proudly when WWII begins. Although anxious to serve his country, Woodrow is quickly discharged because of his chronic hay fever. Ashamed to return, the "conquering hero" manages to dupe his girlfriend, friends and entire hometown by having his buddies forward his letters from the "Pacific." Nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, this quick-witted comedy classic showcases the talents of Preston Sturges at his best.
Audience: Rated G.
Publisher: [United States] : Universal Pictures : Made available through hoopla, 1944.
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 101 min.)) : sound, color

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Nursebob
Jan 27, 2015

Sturges mixes just the right amount of wry humour and mocking satire in this thoroughly entertaining story of a naive young man caught up in the lies of others. Woodrow Truesmith (the names are brilliant) is the small-town son of a WWI hero. His father died in the line of duty and his mother maintains a shrine to his memory in the living room. Sadly, when Woodrow tries to follow in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the Marines he receives a medical discharge due to his persistent hay fever instead. Too ashamed to face his family and friends with the truth he gets a job in a shipyard and lets everyone believe he’s fighting overseas. It’s when a group of real Marines decides to help him return home as a decorated hero that things begin to spiral out of control. Sturges’ assured direction and intelligent script keep things moving at a brisk pace, but even as the gags come fast and furious there is an underlying anger to the film as it skewers everything from rampant capitalism to gushing patriotism. And although the final scene appears to be a sentimental cop-out, upon closer inspection it practically oozes sarcastic irony. Pretty daring stuff for a movie released towards the end of World War II.

jpozenel Jan 05, 2014

I have no idea what anybody sees in this movie. I thought it was terrible. The story was weak, the dialog extremely repetitive, and all of the characters were unlikeable. I just don't get it.

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