Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944)

77-78 mins | Drama | 3 August 1944

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Producer:

Jack Moss

Cinematographer:

Joseph Walker

Editor:

Dick Fantl

Production Designers:

Lionel Banks, Rudolph Sternad

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Theodore Pratt's novel was serialized in the New York Post. According to pre-production news items in HR, Harold Lloyd was originally slated to produce and star in this picture, which would have been his first in five years. Edgar Buchanan and Charles Laughton were later considered for the male lead. According to a 1 Feb HR news item, Lee Jason took over as director from Alfred Green and George Meehan stepped in for photographer Joseph Walker when both men fell ill while filming the barracks scenes. The mountain obstacle course scene was shot in Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles, CA, according to another HR news item. Columbia publicity materials contained in the film's production files at the AMPAS Library note that Val Raset taught Edward G. Robinson to jitterbug for the film's USO scene and add that Roland Varno coached some of the actors who had to speak Japanese in the film. According to the Var review, stock footage of the Pacific Islands invasion was employed in this film. The 1943 regulation described in the film, which granted an honorable discharge to all men over thirty-eight, was based in fact. ...

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Theodore Pratt's novel was serialized in the New York Post. According to pre-production news items in HR, Harold Lloyd was originally slated to produce and star in this picture, which would have been his first in five years. Edgar Buchanan and Charles Laughton were later considered for the male lead. According to a 1 Feb HR news item, Lee Jason took over as director from Alfred Green and George Meehan stepped in for photographer Joseph Walker when both men fell ill while filming the barracks scenes. The mountain obstacle course scene was shot in Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles, CA, according to another HR news item. Columbia publicity materials contained in the film's production files at the AMPAS Library note that Val Raset taught Edward G. Robinson to jitterbug for the film's USO scene and add that Roland Varno coached some of the actors who had to speak Japanese in the film. According to the Var review, stock footage of the Pacific Islands invasion was employed in this film. The 1943 regulation described in the film, which granted an honorable discharge to all men over thirty-eight, was based in fact.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Jul 1944
---
Daily Variety
11 Jul 1944
p. 3
Film Daily
19 Jul 1944
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 1943
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1943
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1943
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1943
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1944
p. 14
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 1944
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1944
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 1944
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1944
p. 16
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Jul 1944
p. 1993
New York Post
13 Aug 1943
---
New York Times
3 Aug 1944
p. 16
Variety
12 Jul 1944
p. 20
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Asst to prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Richard Fantl
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
PRODUCTION MISC
Army tech adv
Jitterbug instructor
Japanese dialog coach
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Mr. Winkle Goes to War by Theodore Pratt (New York, 1943).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Sweet Genevieve" words by George Cooper, music by Henry Tucker.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 August 1944
Production Date:
24 Jan--31 Mar 1944
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp.
3 August 1944
LP13026
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77-78
Length(in feet):
7,139
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10032
SYNOPSIS

On 1 June 1942, meek bank clerk Wilbert Winkle screws up his courage and informs his boss, bank president A. B. Simkins, that he is quitting after fourteen years of service. When Simkins angrily accepts his resignation, Winkle's brother-in-law, Ralph Wescott, who is also employed at the bank, phones his sister Amy, Winkle's wife, to tell her the news. After leaving the office, Winkle visits Barry, an orphan he has befriended, and accompanies the boy to his workshop, which is situated behind the Winkle house. Telling Barry that he has designated the first of June as the day to open his fix-it-shop, Winkle asks the boy to join the business as a handy man. When Winkle informs the domineering Amy about his new venture, she declares that she will not be humiliated by being married to a handy man and demands that he choose between her and his shop. Ignoring Amy's threats, Winkle goes to work at the shop with Barry the next day. Late in the afternoon, the mailman delivers an induction notice to the Winkle house, and Amy takes the letter to her husband at his workshop. The next morning, Winkle reports to the induction center where, to his surprise, he is orderd to report to duty immediately. After the first day of grueling basic training, Winkle's commanding officer, Sgt. "Alphabet," decides to reassign the sickly recruit to a desk job. When Winkle pleads to be allowed to serve his country by using his mechanical abilities, the sergeant finally agrees to transfer him to a mechanical division. After undergoing a strenuous training program, Winkle is transformed into a robust soldier ...

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On 1 June 1942, meek bank clerk Wilbert Winkle screws up his courage and informs his boss, bank president A. B. Simkins, that he is quitting after fourteen years of service. When Simkins angrily accepts his resignation, Winkle's brother-in-law, Ralph Wescott, who is also employed at the bank, phones his sister Amy, Winkle's wife, to tell her the news. After leaving the office, Winkle visits Barry, an orphan he has befriended, and accompanies the boy to his workshop, which is situated behind the Winkle house. Telling Barry that he has designated the first of June as the day to open his fix-it-shop, Winkle asks the boy to join the business as a handy man. When Winkle informs the domineering Amy about his new venture, she declares that she will not be humiliated by being married to a handy man and demands that he choose between her and his shop. Ignoring Amy's threats, Winkle goes to work at the shop with Barry the next day. Late in the afternoon, the mailman delivers an induction notice to the Winkle house, and Amy takes the letter to her husband at his workshop. The next morning, Winkle reports to the induction center where, to his surprise, he is orderd to report to duty immediately. After the first day of grueling basic training, Winkle's commanding officer, Sgt. "Alphabet," decides to reassign the sickly recruit to a desk job. When Winkle pleads to be allowed to serve his country by using his mechanical abilities, the sergeant finally agrees to transfer him to a mechanical division. After undergoing a strenuous training program, Winkle is transformed into a robust soldier and is assigned to the motor mechanic unit. On the eve of his first furlough home, he is summoned back to the post to be shipped overseas to a combat area. As Winkle prepares to join his unit, his commanding officer informs him of a new army regulation granting an honorable discharge to all men over thirty-eight. Although Winkle is forty-four, he turns down the discharge to serve his country and phones Barry to tell him that he will not be coming home. Bitterly disappointed, Barry runs away to see Winkle, and when Mr. McDavid, the head of the orphanage, learns of the boy's plans, he and Amy go looking for him. After they find him hitchhiking along the road, Barry tells Amy that Winkle will not be coming home. When Amy wonders why her husband didn't accept a discharge, Barry rebukes her for failing to appreciate Winkle's integrity. That night, Winkle is shipped out to a Pacific island, where he is ordered to repair a broken-down bulldozer. While he is working on the engine, a contingent of Japanese soldiers attack Winkle's platoon. Although he is in the thick of gunfire, Winkle refuses to give up and continues to tinker with the engine until it finally starts. Driving the vehicle toward the enemy soldiers, Winkle overruns their position and routs their attack. Wounded in combat, he awakens in a hospital bed to discover that he has been declared a hero. Upon returning home, the modest Winkle avoids a welcoming reception and goes straight home, where Amy is waiting. When the crowd finds him there, Simkins announces that Winkle has been appointed vice-president of the bank. After Winkle rejects the promotion, Amy, who has finally accepted her husband's humble desire to work in a fix-it shop, escorts him to the back porch and shows him the short cut to his shop that she and Barry have built through the back fence.

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

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