When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950)

82 or 86 mins | Comedy | February 1950

Director:

John Ford

Producer:

Fred Kohlmar

Cinematographer:

Leo Tover

Editor:

James B. Clark

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Chester Gore

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, a Mar 1949 draft of the screenplay for this film was entitled Rise and Shine . A working title for this film was Front and Center . The legal records also indicate that Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the rights to Sy Gomberg's short story for $10,000 in Mar 1945, and that some filming took place on Santa Catalina Island and at the Conejo Valley Airport in Thousand Oaks, CA. While the CBCS lists Paul Picerni in the role of Kerrigan and John Mitchum in the role of Schreves, studio records dated earlier list Mickey Simpson as "M. P. Kerrigan" and Don Summers as "M. P. Schreve." The Var review erroneously notes that this was director John Ford's first comedy. Ford made comedies prior to and following this film, and in 1952 he reteamed Dan Dailey and Corinne Calvet in the comedy What Price Glory . A biography on director John Ford quotes Ford as having said that this film was "one of the funniest films ever made." In 1950, Gomberg received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original ... More Less

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, a Mar 1949 draft of the screenplay for this film was entitled Rise and Shine . A working title for this film was Front and Center . The legal records also indicate that Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the rights to Sy Gomberg's short story for $10,000 in Mar 1945, and that some filming took place on Santa Catalina Island and at the Conejo Valley Airport in Thousand Oaks, CA. While the CBCS lists Paul Picerni in the role of Kerrigan and John Mitchum in the role of Schreves, studio records dated earlier list Mickey Simpson as "M. P. Kerrigan" and Don Summers as "M. P. Schreve." The Var review erroneously notes that this was director John Ford's first comedy. Ford made comedies prior to and following this film, and in 1952 he reteamed Dan Dailey and Corinne Calvet in the comedy What Price Glory . A biography on director John Ford quotes Ford as having said that this film was "one of the funniest films ever made." In 1950, Gomberg received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jan 1950.
---
Daily Variety
4 Jan 50
p. 3, 9
Film Daily
4 Jan 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 50
p. 3, 12
Los Angeles Times
25 Jan 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Jan 50
p. 145.
New York Times
18 Feb 50
p. 9.
Variety
4 Jan 1950.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Jack Barnett
John Duncan
Michael J. Dugan
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des by
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "When Leo Came Marching Home" by Sy Gomberg in Collier's (12 May 1945).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"You've Got Me This Way," music and lyrics by Jimmy McHugh
"Somebody Stole my Gal," music and lyrics by Leo Wood.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Front and Center
Rise and Shine
When Leo Came Marching Home
Release Date:
February 1950
Production Date:
20 June--11 August 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 January 1950
Copyright Number:
LP2921
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82 or 86
Length(in feet):
7,367
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13928
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1941, when news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor reaches the small town of Punxatawney, West Virginia, Bill Kluggs, an upstanding young student, enlists in the army and earns the distinction of being the first resident of Punxatawney to join the wartime service. After bidding farewell to his sweetheart Marge Fettles, Bill leaves for basic training at Fort Wayne, Missouri. Following basic training, Bill and his regiment are dispached to Punxatawney, the site of the new Loring Field base, where Bill is told that he will be briefly stationed before being sent out to fight. Although Bill's visit at home starts well, when the town gives him a grand homecoming celebration, the good cheer soon begins to fade when Bill's assignment in Punxatawney is repeatedly extended. Bill makes many desperate requests to be sent out to fight but they prove futile, and his brief stop eventually turns into a two-year stay in Punxatawney. Bill's commander refuses to ship him out because he is too good as a gunnery instructor and is needed at home to train soldiers. With time, the townspeople begin to resent Bill's presence and soon ignore and ridicule him. Bill's big break finally comes when he is needed to fly a B-17 to England but, because there have been so many false starts, Bill's parents barely take notice of his departure. While crossing the Atlantic in bad weather, Bill falls asleep and misses orders from the cockpit to bail out. When he awakens, Bill realizes that he is in danger and parachutes to safety. Safety is not at all what Bill finds, however, when he discovers that ... +


In 1941, when news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor reaches the small town of Punxatawney, West Virginia, Bill Kluggs, an upstanding young student, enlists in the army and earns the distinction of being the first resident of Punxatawney to join the wartime service. After bidding farewell to his sweetheart Marge Fettles, Bill leaves for basic training at Fort Wayne, Missouri. Following basic training, Bill and his regiment are dispached to Punxatawney, the site of the new Loring Field base, where Bill is told that he will be briefly stationed before being sent out to fight. Although Bill's visit at home starts well, when the town gives him a grand homecoming celebration, the good cheer soon begins to fade when Bill's assignment in Punxatawney is repeatedly extended. Bill makes many desperate requests to be sent out to fight but they prove futile, and his brief stop eventually turns into a two-year stay in Punxatawney. Bill's commander refuses to ship him out because he is too good as a gunnery instructor and is needed at home to train soldiers. With time, the townspeople begin to resent Bill's presence and soon ignore and ridicule him. Bill's big break finally comes when he is needed to fly a B-17 to England but, because there have been so many false starts, Bill's parents barely take notice of his departure. While crossing the Atlantic in bad weather, Bill falls asleep and misses orders from the cockpit to bail out. When he awakens, Bill realizes that he is in danger and parachutes to safety. Safety is not at all what Bill finds, however, when he discovers that he has landed in Nazi-occupied France. Soon after hitting the ground, Bill is taken captive by a French woman named Yvonne and her cohorts, who are a part of the French Resistence. Yvonne and the others are filming the launching of a rocket from a secret launch pad and decide to use Bill to help them smuggle their film out of the area. As part of their plan, Bill is disguised as a Frenchman and a fake wedding between he and Yvonne is staged. The plan is a success, and Bill and the film arrive safely in London. Bill is then sent back the United States, where, after he identifies a photograph of Yvonne for Pentagon officials, he is told that he has played a vital role in finding the location of top secret mission sites that are essential to American intelligence operations. Having left Punxatawney only four days earlier, Bill returns home disoriented and exhausted, and is mistaken for a prowler by his father, who knocks him unconscious. His father later dismisses his story of the four-day ordeal as nonsense until military police arrive at the Kluggs's to escort Bill to Washington, D.C., where he is to receive a personal decoration by the President of the United States. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.