Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hail The Conquering Hero by Preston Sturges--Peter Bogdanovich



Ed here: Preston Sturges is on in my all-time top ten directors list. His take on this vale of tears is witty, melancholy and bumper-cars hilarious. Anybody who could write, direct and GET SHOWN a 1942 film about a young woman who gets pregnant after a dance with soldiers about to be shipped oveseas..and then can't be sure which soldier it was...and make a wildly funny and endearing comedy out of it.... His repartee is among the finest ever put to paper and then transfered to film. This is one of his finest. Here Bogdanovich does his usual fine job.

Peter Bogdanovich: Hail The Conquering Her by Preston Sturges

As questions of morality, ethics and honor in our society become ever more ambiguous, it might be salutary to see an American comedy of the highest order dealing with these troubling issues, made while World War II was daily in a different way bringing them vividly to the fore. During 1944, the inimitable Preston Sturges wrote and directed one of his most enduring works with these themes: HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (available on DVD). It was the seventh picture in that most extraordinary run of eight consecutive movies over four years, all brilliantly conceived, written and directed by Sturges (here’s the Link to a piece I did on this very special picturemaker years ago).

Six Marines, survivors of the fierce battle for Guadalcanal, try to cheer up a very sad, hayfevered Marine reject (Eddie Bracken) by passing him off to his hometown as a genuine hero of Guadalcanal; they are so convincing that he wins his girl back, and the typically American small town wants Woodrow (that’s his name) for their mayor! Of course, the real point of the tale lies in how Woodrow finally deals with the truth.

The performances are all top-notch, with a flawless comic rhythm that is uniquely Sturges, which is why he kept using the same stock company of actors——they knew his beat—like a conductor with his own orchestra. This was especially important with Sturges, who created his scripts by improvising them out loud for his secretary to write down. That would have been something to see! His widow, Sandy, who served as his girl Friday for a while, told me he was one really hilarious performer.


for the rest go here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/peterbogdanovich/hail-the-conquering-hero

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Nice post which The performances are all top-notch, with a flawless comic rhythm that is uniquely Sturges, which is why he kept using the same stock company of actors they knew his beat like a conductor with his own orchestra. This was especially important with Sturges, who created his scripts by improvising them out loud for his secretary to write down. Thanks a lot for posting this article.