This Is the Army (1943)

113 or 120 or 120 mins | Drama, Variety | 14 August 1943

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HISTORY

The title card reads "Irving Berlin's This Is The Army ." Although the opening credits include a copyright statement, the film is not listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries . The film opens with the following written statement: "We wish to thank Mr. Irving Berlin for making this motion picture possible through his two soldier shows: Yip, Yip, Yaphank --1918; This Is the Army --1943. This picture is being distributed for the benefit of the United States Army Emergency Relief Fund." A 21 May 1942 HR news item reported that Paramount was negotiating for the film rights to Irving Berlin's play. The 18 Jul 1942 issue of Pacific Coast Musician states that Warner Bros. bought the stage rights for $250,000. In the 17 Oct 1942 issue of Collier's , an article relates that the stage show raised about five million dollars for the Army Emergency Relief Fund. The stage production opened its tour in Washington, D.C. on 29 Sep 1942 and finished the tour in Los Angeles, where many members of the production joined the cast of the film. Collier's reported that even while rehearsing and performing, the company did two hours of military drills daily. An 8 Jul 1942 HR news item notes that all the actors were in some branch of the Army. Although this was not strictly true, all the uniformed men who appeared were members of the armed forces. Irving Berlin performed his song "Oh, How I Hate to Get up in the Morning" in the film.
       According to information in the Warner Bros. Collection at the ... More Less

The title card reads "Irving Berlin's This Is The Army ." Although the opening credits include a copyright statement, the film is not listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries . The film opens with the following written statement: "We wish to thank Mr. Irving Berlin for making this motion picture possible through his two soldier shows: Yip, Yip, Yaphank --1918; This Is the Army --1943. This picture is being distributed for the benefit of the United States Army Emergency Relief Fund." A 21 May 1942 HR news item reported that Paramount was negotiating for the film rights to Irving Berlin's play. The 18 Jul 1942 issue of Pacific Coast Musician states that Warner Bros. bought the stage rights for $250,000. In the 17 Oct 1942 issue of Collier's , an article relates that the stage show raised about five million dollars for the Army Emergency Relief Fund. The stage production opened its tour in Washington, D.C. on 29 Sep 1942 and finished the tour in Los Angeles, where many members of the production joined the cast of the film. Collier's reported that even while rehearsing and performing, the company did two hours of military drills daily. An 8 Jul 1942 HR news item notes that all the actors were in some branch of the Army. Although this was not strictly true, all the uniformed men who appeared were members of the armed forces. Irving Berlin performed his song "Oh, How I Hate to Get up in the Morning" in the film.
       According to information in the Warner Bros. Collection at the USC Cinema-Television Library, Dinah Shore was asked to sing the song "What Does He Look Like?" but declined the offer, stating that in her opinion, the lyrics were more appropriate for a male singer. In the film, the song is sung by Frances Langford. Fred Astaire, Joseph Cotten and Walter Huston were all considered for the role of "Jerry," and George Brent was offered the role of "Col. Davidson," but refused to work for no salary. Ginger Rogers was considered for the role of "Eileen." HR news items add the following information about the production: Jack Warner, Hal Wallis, Michael Curtiz and Casey Robinson all donated their salaries to the Army Emergency Relief Fund. The songs "The Girl He Left Behind," "My Sweetie" and "Dressed Up to Kill" were composed especially for the film. Some scenes were shot on location at Camp Cooke in central California. The World War I battle scenes were filmed at the Warner Ranch in Calabasas, CA. Five hundred men were used in the final number "This Will Be the Last Time."
       According to the HR review, the top ticket price at the New York City premiere was $55. All of the film's profits were donated to the Army Emergency Relief Fund. The film cost $1,400,000 to produce. A 15 Dec 1954 HR news item notes that the original negative of the film was turned over permanently to This Is the Army, Inc., on behalf of the Army Emergency Relief Fund. Fred Kelly was Gene Kelly's brother. The film was named one of the FD Ten Best Pictures of 1943. According to modern sources, This Is the Army is one of the highest grossing musical films of all time. Ray Heindorf won an Academy Award for his musical score. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration in a color film and for Best Sound Recording. Two hundred unbilled soldiers and a chorus of professional singers performed in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story on 22 Feb 1943. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Aug 1943.
---
Collier's
17 Oct 1942.
---
Daily Variety
28-Jul-43
---
Daily Variety
29 Jul 43
pp. 3-4.
Down Beat
15 Dec 43
p. 18.
Film Daily
29 Jul 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 43
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 43
p. 1, 3, 10
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 43
p. 1, 13
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 43
p. 1, 15
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 43
pp. 1-2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 43
pp. 1-2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald
31 Jul 1943.
---
Variety
4 Aug 43
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Men from the Armed Forces:
Lt. Ronald Reagan
Sgt. Joe Louis
M/Sgt. Ezra Stone
T/Sgt. Tom D'Andrea
Sgt. Ross Elliott
Sgt. Julie Oshins
Sgt. Earl Oxford
Sgt. Philip Truex
Cpl. James MacColl
Cpl. Herbert Anderson
Pfc. Joe Cook Jr.
James Conlin
Sgt. Gene Berg
James Cross
Pfc. Hank Henry
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
MUSIC
Orch arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mont
DANCE
Prod nos staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup
STAND INS
Singing double for Jimmy Burrell
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Assoc Technicolor color dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play This Is the Army by Irving Berlin (New York, 4 Jul 1942).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Your Country and My Country," "My Sweetie," "Poor Little Me, I'm on K. P.," "We're on Our Way to France," "God Bless America," "What Does He Look Like?" "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," "This Is the Army Mr. Jones," "I'm Getting Tired So I Can Sleep," "Mandy," "Ladies of the Chorus," "Well-Dressed Man in Harlem," "How About a Cheer for the Navy," "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen," "With My Head in the Clouds," "American Eagles" and "This Time Is the Last Time," words and music by Irving Berlin.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Irving Berlin's This Is the Army
Release Date:
14 August 1943
Premiere Information:
World premiere in New York: 28 Jul 1943
Production Date:
24 Feb--14 May 1943
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
113 or 120 or 120
Length(in feet):
10,334
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York, in 1917, actor and dancer Jerry Jones is drafted, and before he leaves, he marries his partner Ethel. Encouraged by army officials, Jerry puts together a musical show to boost morale. Jerry's show, Yip Yip Yaphank , has an all-soldier cast and is very popular, but it ends when the men are sent to the front. After the soldiers sing the closing song, they march off-stage and through the auditorium to the transport that will take them to France. During the fighting, Jerry's leg is wounded, but he is well enough to celebrate with his buddies after the Armistice. His joy is complete when he learns that he is the father of a son. Unable to continue dancing because of his injury, Jerry opens up a theatrical agency, and in 1941, he is joined by his son Johnny. Johnny is in love with Eileen Dibble, the daughter of Jerry's old army buddy, Eddie. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Johnny enlists in the Army. Eileen wants to get married immediately, but Johnny, who has recently visited the family of a soldier killed at Pearl Harbor, believes that it would be wrong to marry in the face of an insecure future. Many of the World War I veterans, including Jerry, Eddie and Maxie Twardofsky visit the boot camp, where they find that their old instructor, Sergeant McGee, is still training soldiers. The older men decide to put on another show, This Is the Army , to raise money for the Army Relief Fund. The show is extremely popular and goes on tour, ending in Washington, D.C., where ... +


In New York, in 1917, actor and dancer Jerry Jones is drafted, and before he leaves, he marries his partner Ethel. Encouraged by army officials, Jerry puts together a musical show to boost morale. Jerry's show, Yip Yip Yaphank , has an all-soldier cast and is very popular, but it ends when the men are sent to the front. After the soldiers sing the closing song, they march off-stage and through the auditorium to the transport that will take them to France. During the fighting, Jerry's leg is wounded, but he is well enough to celebrate with his buddies after the Armistice. His joy is complete when he learns that he is the father of a son. Unable to continue dancing because of his injury, Jerry opens up a theatrical agency, and in 1941, he is joined by his son Johnny. Johnny is in love with Eileen Dibble, the daughter of Jerry's old army buddy, Eddie. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Johnny enlists in the Army. Eileen wants to get married immediately, but Johnny, who has recently visited the family of a soldier killed at Pearl Harbor, believes that it would be wrong to marry in the face of an insecure future. Many of the World War I veterans, including Jerry, Eddie and Maxie Twardofsky visit the boot camp, where they find that their old instructor, Sergeant McGee, is still training soldiers. The older men decide to put on another show, This Is the Army , to raise money for the Army Relief Fund. The show is extremely popular and goes on tour, ending in Washington, D.C., where President Franklin D. Roosevelt attends. Eileen, who has joined the Red Cross, visits Johnny backstage and finally convinces him that she understands the risks of marrying a soldier, but wants to make a commitment to him before he leaves for war. On stage, the former stars of Yip Yip Yaphank do a number and are joined by Jerry, who dances with them despite his injured leg. Backstage, Eileen returns with a chaplain and marries Johnny. At the end of the show, the men march off to the front as their fathers did before them. +

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

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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.