July 1943: This is the Army

Oh Em Gee! Colour! It’s a movie in colour! Is colour even possible?! My eyes!

An Irving Berlin eleganza extravaganza. It’s about a bunch of guys drafted into the army and then they put on a show. As one does. It’s great! It’s got lines like

Angry sarge: “Did you sleep well?”

Private: “Sure. This bed has the softest mattress I’ve ever slept on the floor next to.”

that almost kinda make sense, which I like very much.

This DVD version, though, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s got so many artefacts (especially when there’s a lot of action) that it’s obvious that it’s been sourced from a torrent site with a very bandwidth-restricted codec. Which is a shame, because it looks like it was originally quite pretty.

At least the audio quality is pretty swell.

For major bits of the movie they give up on the pretence that it’s a real film and just show one musical stage performance after another. But they’re pretty impressive. A huge number of people performing, and the Berlin’s music’s pretty nice. (The movie started off as a Broadway musical where the profits were donated to the Army Emergency Relief fund, and they raised the equivalent of $135M in today’s money.)

Ronald Reagan is unexpectedly perfect for his part.

But… is it a good movie? It’s barely a movie at all. But I found it quite entertaining.

This is the Army. Michael Curtiz. 1943.

Popular movies in July 1943 according to IMDB:

14057.3Stormy Weather
65447.0For Whom the Bell Tolls
6346.8Victory Through Air Power

This blog post is part of the Decade series.

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