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Sunday, June 1, 2008

SO PROUDLY WE HAIL (1943)

With megger Mark Sandrich of the Astaire/Rogers musicals and scripter Allan Scott of the Hollywood Ten behind this patriotic WWII meller about a group of heroic nurses just back from Bataan & Corregidor, don’t be surprised at the well-seasoned comedy bits that keep things from getting too darn depressing. Sure, it’s ridiculous and impossible to take literally, but viewed with the grim realties of 1943 wartime America in mind, something touching and occasionally moving surfaces amid the corny dramatic tropes and studio artifice. Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard & a thespically challenged Veronica Lake all look terrif in deglamorized mode and the film boasts two actual surprises; one is the early exit (halfway thru the pic) of one of the leads and the other is George (Superman) Reeves who's a real charmer as Colbert’s fella.

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