Friday, November 9, 2012

1944 - HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN, Hollywood pats themselves on their collective backs

The Hollywood Canteen was an entertainment center started by Bette Davis and John Garfield to entertain servicemen either shipping out for combat or returning from combat.  Never an industry to pass up a chance to make a buck, Warner Brothers produced this butt kissing salute to how wonderful they were.

The film is loaded with lots and lots of 40's star mostly and unsurprisingly from the Warner Brothers studio.   There is actually a sort of plot to this film.  A soldier recovering from war wounds wants to meet his crush Joan (who?) Leslie.  This is an excuse for the soldier to run into a lot of stars.  Look it's Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet, Jane Wyatt, Eddie Cantor, Joe E Brown, you get the picture lots of actors that no one remembers today.

The film has a lot of musical numbers and little comedy bits from the stars.  It's harmless stuff, kind of boring and extremely dated.  In 1944, people watching this film could take comfort that "the stars" were ordinary people just like you and me, uh huh.

Hollywood Canteen is over two hours but seems a lot longer.  Some of the musical numbers aren't too bad but the flag waving looks mighty corny these days.  Oh and the soldier "Slim" does get to go out on a date with Joan Leslie," God Bless America."

124 minutes.

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