Jumping Jacks (1952)

92 or 96 mins | Comedy | July 1952

Director:

Norman Taurog

Producer:

Hal B. Wallis

Cinematographer:

Daniel L. Fapp

Editor:

Stanley Johnson

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Henry Bumstead

Production Company:

Wallis-Hazen, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film concludes with the following written statement: "Parts of this motion picture were photographed with the facilities and personnel of the Infantry Center, Fort Benning, Georgia, particularly the Airborne Department of the Infantry School, assisted by the United States Air Force units stationed there. We are sincerely grateful to the United States Army and the Department of Defense for making this possible." Although reviews and publicity material list the character played by Mona Freeman as "Betty," she is called "Betsy" in the film.
       As noted in a Feb 1952 HR news item, producer Hal Wallis purchased a completed screenplay from Paramount, titled Ready, Willing and Four F , and used it as the basis for the Jumping Jacks story. The screenplay was written in 1943 by Fred Rinaldo, Robert Lees and Brian Marlow. Rinaldo and Lees received a screenplay credit on Jumping Jacks , while Marlow is credited as story writer. According to a Dec 1951 LAT news item, Lt. Ellen de Beruff, a WAC stationed at Fort Benning, was selected to play a part in the film, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
       A Jun 1952 DV news item reported that Brig. Gen. Frank Dern, deputy chief of the Army's information office, had praised the comedy and predicted it would "contribute to troop morale within the Army." Despite the Army's endorsement, HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column condemned the picture because writers Lees, Rinaldo, Marlow and Richard Weil, who is credited onscreen with additional dialogue, were implicated as Communists during the Congressional hearings of the House Committee on ... More Less

The film concludes with the following written statement: "Parts of this motion picture were photographed with the facilities and personnel of the Infantry Center, Fort Benning, Georgia, particularly the Airborne Department of the Infantry School, assisted by the United States Air Force units stationed there. We are sincerely grateful to the United States Army and the Department of Defense for making this possible." Although reviews and publicity material list the character played by Mona Freeman as "Betty," she is called "Betsy" in the film.
       As noted in a Feb 1952 HR news item, producer Hal Wallis purchased a completed screenplay from Paramount, titled Ready, Willing and Four F , and used it as the basis for the Jumping Jacks story. The screenplay was written in 1943 by Fred Rinaldo, Robert Lees and Brian Marlow. Rinaldo and Lees received a screenplay credit on Jumping Jacks , while Marlow is credited as story writer. According to a Dec 1951 LAT news item, Lt. Ellen de Beruff, a WAC stationed at Fort Benning, was selected to play a part in the film, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
       A Jun 1952 DV news item reported that Brig. Gen. Frank Dern, deputy chief of the Army's information office, had praised the comedy and predicted it would "contribute to troop morale within the Army." Despite the Army's endorsement, HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column condemned the picture because writers Lees, Rinaldo, Marlow and Richard Weil, who is credited onscreen with additional dialogue, were implicated as Communists during the Congressional hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). In HR 's "Open Forum" column on 21 Feb 1952, Lloyd Wright, Wallis' attorney, responded to the "Rambling Reporter" item by pointing out that, with the exception of Weil, all of the implicated writers, including the deceased Marlow, had worked on the 1943 screenplay and did not "benefit financially" from the sale of the script to Hal Wallis Productions. Wright also noted that HUAC had identified Weil merely as being one of 150 people attending a meeting with Communists. According to a Jul 1952 HCN article, the Wage Earners Committee planned to picket screenings of the film in Los Angeles in protest of its supposed Communist connections, but were prohibited from doing so after a judge ruled that such picketing constituted an "illegal secondary boycott." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jun 1952.
---
Daily Variety
3 Jun 1952.
---
Daily Variety
4 Jun 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Jun 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Citizen-News
23 Jul 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 51
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 52
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Jan 52
p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
10 Dec 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Jun 52
p. 1389.
New York Times
23 Jul 52
p. 19.
New York Times
24 Jul 52
p. 30.
Newsweek
30 Jun 1952.
---
Time
4 Aug 1952.
---
Variety
4 Jun 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Hal Wallis' Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
Addl dial
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
Cam op
Cam op
Asst cam op
Asst cam op
Asst cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed supv
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Can't Resist a Man in Uniform," "The Parachute Jump," "The Big Blue Sky Is the Place for Me," "I Know a Dream When I See One" and "Keep a Little Dream Handy," music and lyrics by Mack David and Jerry Livingston.
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1952
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York opening: 23 July 1952
Production Date:
early December 1951--late January 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Wallis-Hazen, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 July 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1841
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
92 or 96
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15799
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After completing a performance of their nightclub act, entertainers Hap Smith and Betsy Carter learn from their agent that Broadway producer Earl White wants to meet them. No sooner does the bumbling Hap, who is infatuated with Betsy, hear the exciting news than he receives a telegram directing him to go to Fort Belding to participate in a secret mission. Without a word of explanation to Betsy, Hap hops a bus to the camp and locates the snack bar where he is to rendezvous with his contact. To his surprise, his contact is longtime friend Corp. Chick Allen, an infantry paratrooper training at the camp. Chick reveals that because his commanding general, W. W. Timmons, hates amateur "soldier shows," Chick, a singer, wants Hap to perform with him in the camp's upcoming revue, so Timmons will not ban any future shows. Chick persuades Hap to impersonate Dogface Dolan, a private who is willing to go into hiding until after the show. While wearing a "trick" uniform from his club act, Hap runs into burly Sgt. McCluskey and infuriates him with his ignorance of Army regulations and sloppy dress. Before McCluskey can expose Hap, Chick intercedes and convinces the sergeant that Hap's uniform is part of the camp's show. As hoped, the show is a hit and Timmons loves Hap's buffoonery. Timmons congratulates Hap backstage, and without thinking, Hap suggests touring the show, exactly as is. After Timmons jumps at the idea, Chick informs Hap that, as Timmons expects to see him performing, he must now continue his impersonation or be shot as a spy. Hap reluctantly agrees and, while the real Dogface hides in ... +


After completing a performance of their nightclub act, entertainers Hap Smith and Betsy Carter learn from their agent that Broadway producer Earl White wants to meet them. No sooner does the bumbling Hap, who is infatuated with Betsy, hear the exciting news than he receives a telegram directing him to go to Fort Belding to participate in a secret mission. Without a word of explanation to Betsy, Hap hops a bus to the camp and locates the snack bar where he is to rendezvous with his contact. To his surprise, his contact is longtime friend Corp. Chick Allen, an infantry paratrooper training at the camp. Chick reveals that because his commanding general, W. W. Timmons, hates amateur "soldier shows," Chick, a singer, wants Hap to perform with him in the camp's upcoming revue, so Timmons will not ban any future shows. Chick persuades Hap to impersonate Dogface Dolan, a private who is willing to go into hiding until after the show. While wearing a "trick" uniform from his club act, Hap runs into burly Sgt. McCluskey and infuriates him with his ignorance of Army regulations and sloppy dress. Before McCluskey can expose Hap, Chick intercedes and convinces the sergeant that Hap's uniform is part of the camp's show. As hoped, the show is a hit and Timmons loves Hap's buffoonery. Timmons congratulates Hap backstage, and without thinking, Hap suggests touring the show, exactly as is. After Timmons jumps at the idea, Chick informs Hap that, as Timmons expects to see him performing, he must now continue his impersonation or be shot as a spy. Hap reluctantly agrees and, while the real Dogface hides in the boiler room, moves to the paratroopers' barracks. As Dogface, Hap at first aggravates McCluskey, who has just been assigned to their unit, and tries to sneak out during the night. The next day, however, Hap fakes his way through training and, with Chick's help, manages to impress McCluskey with his unintentional humor and parachute folding. Later, the men are sent to perform their first show of the tour, and Dogface is almost nabbed by McCluskey on the train. During a layover in New York, Hap seizes the opportunity to sneak away, and he and Betsy make their appointment with White. The producer is upset to see Hap in uniform, however, and refuses to cast him while he is enlisted. Chick then bursts in, having guessed Hap's whereabouts, and is immediately smitten by Betsy. Chick drags Hap back to the train station, and the show goes on. Back at Fort Belding, Hap is forced to participate in some high-wire parachuting exercises and again impresses McCluskey, despite his terror. McCluskey rewards Hap by promoting him to corporal and granting him a forty-eight hour pass. Sure he will bolt for good, Chick and the other paratroopers try to stop him from leaving camp, but Hap outsmarts them. At the train station, however, Hap is cornered by Chick, who has won his own pass in a craps game. Hap and Chick find Betsy performing at a Servicemen's Center dance, and Chick begins to romance her. At Fort Belding, meanwhile, Dogface is recognized by McCluskey as the mystery man on the train, and when he identifies himself as Dogface Dolan, McCluskey sends him for interrogation. Word of Dogface's predicament reaches Hap and Chick at the center, and Chick instructs Hap to shed his uniform. Before Hap can, however, he is named the winner of a contest, the first prize of which is a military escort back to camp. There, Timmons learns about the Dogface mystery, but is too distracted by an upcoming joint maneuver with hated rival Gen. Bond to investigate the matter further. Hap resumes his impersonation and, during the joint maneuver, outsmarts Bond's men and single-handedly wins the competition for Timmons by blowing up a bridge. Afterward, Hap confesses all to Timmons, who gives him the choice of being Corp. Smith or being arrested for impersonating a soldier. Hap decides to remain in the Army and is relieved when McCluskey announces during the unit's first jump that, as a corporal, he should direct the others out of the plane. After Chick jumps, Hap falls out of the plane without his parachute, but grabs onto Chick. Chick and Hap then land safely on a motorcycle and side car, and happily drive off together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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