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||IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from votes
||Release: 31 December 1944 (USA) /
||Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
||Director: Delmer Daves,
||Stars: Alan Hale, Bette Davis, Dane Clark, Eddie Cantor, Faye Emerson, Helmut Dantine, Jack Benny, Jack Carson, Joan Crawford, Joe E. Brown, John Garfield, Kitty Carlisle, Sydney Greenstreet, The Andrews Sisters, Victor Francen
||Synopsis: Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom he has been dreaming about while in the Pacific. He meets her later at the Farmer's Market. On the third night, Slim is the millionth man into the Canteen, earning him a date with Joan. Slim thinks he's been duped when she doesn't show up at his train. Slim's buddy Sergant dances with Joan Crawford. Canteen President Bette Davis praises the canteen and the war effort. Virtually everyone Warners could spare entertains. Written by Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
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I am a great fan of the late John Garfield. If you are a Garfield buff,
it may surprise you to learn that anyone would consider Hollywood
Canteen a great Garfield film since he's on screen for such a very
short time and since he did so many more "substantive" vehicles like
"Body and Soul", "Gentleman's Agreement", "The Breaking Point", and
"Force of Evil".
But you'd have to understand that the idea for the real Hollywood
Canteen originated with Garfield, supposedly after he paid a visit to
the famous Stage Door Canteen in New York. He got together with Bette
Davis, and between them they persuaded all the major studios to support
a similar place in Hollywood where servicemen could relax, have fun,
and mingle with movie stars.
The movie's plot is utterly preposterous, but that makes no difference.
The chemistry between stars Joan Leslie and Robert Hutton is wonderful.
Joan's role was originally to have been played by Ann Sheridan, but she
turned it down because she, too, thought the idea of a soldier on leave
falling in love with a movie star at the Canteen and actually getting a
chance to spend some with her was ridiculous.
In my opinion, Joan turned out to be absolutely perfect. She was quite
young when the movie was made (only 18 or 19), but one of Warner
Brothers' most popular actresses of the early 1940s.
Formal reviews of Hollywood Canteen at the time it was released tended
to pan the movie, even though it was a commercial success. But for
today's audiences it's two hours of great fun. There are terrific song
and dance numbers by some of Hollywood's best.
The great irony of this movie has to do with what happened to John
Garfield. Declared 4-F because of a heart condition, Garfield
repeatedly tried to enlist but was turned down. He gave tirelessly of
himself, entertaining troops in USO shows stateside and in Europe. Even
Bette Davis acknowledged that he was the driving force behind the
So it is inconceivable to me that someone who gave so much of himself
to the war effort could have been blacklisted as a communist
sympathizer. His career and his life were ruined, and he died suddenly
in May, 1952.
As the great playwright, Clifford Odets, wrote in his letter to The New
York Times the Sunday after Garfield died, "Despite any and all gossip
to the contrary, I, who was in a position to know, state without
equivocation that of all his possessions Garfield was proudest of his
American heritage, even rudely so."
Anyway, enough of this heavy stuff. If you get a chance to see
Hollywood Canteen, don't miss it. It's great entertainment.
Tags for Hollywood Canteen Full Movie
, Bette Davis
, Dane Clark
, Eddie Cantor
, Faye Emerson
, Helmut Dantine
, Jack Benny
, Jack Carson
, Joan Crawford
, Joe E. Brown
, John Garfield
, Kitty Carlisle
, Sydney Greenstreet
, The Andrews Sisters
, Victor Francen
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