Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) – reviewed by George

This is a wonderful movie. I can’t predict your response, but I felt patriotic, and proud, and I laughed out loud, and I got wet-eyed.
Preston Sturges wrote and directed this film about a guy who joins the Marines, then right away is discharged because of a medical condition: chronic hay fever. But does he go home? No. His father was a Marine in the First World War, and he can’t disappoint his mother by failing to serve, so he gets a job in a shipyard, where he at least in still a part of the war effort. Now a year later, he has decided to go home, swallow his pride, and confess everything.
But on the train he meets six Marines who listen to his story, convince him that his mother will be even more disappointed than he thinks, and talk him into a uniform to which they all add medals of their own. Now the town loves him so much, especially with the endorsement of the six Marines, who stick around, that they burn his mother’s mortgage and run him for Mayor. And how does his former girlfriend feel, since he wrote her telling her not to wait for him? After all, she’s engaged to the current Mayor’s son, who got a deferment for (wait for it) chronic hay fever.
There are big comic moments and moments that surprise you and moments that touch your heart. This is something you have got to see.
Cast includes Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, William Demarest, Raymond Walburn, Franklin Pangborn, Elizabeth Patterson, Georgia Caine, and Bill Edwards.

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