Hail the Conquering Hero

Synopsis: Having been discharged from the Marines for a hayfever condition before ever seeing action, Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) delays the return to his hometown, feeling that he is a failure. While in a moment of melancholy, he meets up with a group of Marines who befriend him and encourage him to return home to his mother by fabricating a story that he was wounded in battle with honorable discharge. They make him wear a uniform complete with medals and is pushed by his new friends into accepting a Hero's welcome when he gets home where he is to be immortalized by a statue that he doesn't want, has songs written about his heroic battle stories, and ends up unwillingly running for mayor. Despite his best efforts to explain the truth, no one will listen.
Genre: Comedy, War
Director(s): Preston Sturges
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

the Marine Corps, maybe?

Yeah, I was in

the Marine Corps.

That's too bad, Mac. That's

all right. Set them up again.

Don't you want

anything else beside beer?

Well, personally, I never touch

anything stronger than rye whiskey.

Seven ryes. You can use

the beer for chasers.


You sure you ain't spending too fast

like fancy Felix, the Craps King here?


I just got paid tonight.

Besides, I can't think of any way I'd

rather spend my money than for Marines.

Guadalcanal. It's a

great place to be from.

Well, sukiyaki.

How long you out?

From the Marines?


I was only in a month.

That's too bad.

You hardly had time

to get corns on your feet.

Were you wounded? How could

he get wounded in boot camp?

He could've

fell off a roof.

What would he be doing

on a roof?

It was hay fever,

chronic hay fever.

Gee, that's

the worst kind, too.

It's terrible.

I had a girl once who had it.

Every time you'd

get close to her,

she'd sneeze

right in your kisser.

She wasn't so dumb.

It was the excitement.

Well, better luck next time.

Did you try any of the other branches of

the Service, like the Army or the Navy?

They'll take anything.

They wouldn't take me.

I went into a shipyard.

My grandmother is a WAC.

What good is that

gonna do him?

I don't know why

hay fever is so terrible.

It's because you never know

when it's gonna hit you.

I remember one night, this dame had

a bowl of noodle soup in front of her,

and all of a sudden...

Anyway, I was kind of

born to be a Marine.

My father was killed in

Belleau Wood the day I was born.

Belleau Wood?

Almost the same hour.

All I ever thought about

was being a Marine.

I took exercises. I never drank or

smoked. I studied all about them.

I can tell you every battle the

Marines were in from 1775 down to now.

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Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges (; born Edmund Preston Biden; August 29, 1898 – August 6, 1959) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and film director. In 1941, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film The Great McGinty, his first of three nominations in the category. Sturges took the screwball comedy format of the 1930s to another level, writing dialogue that, heard today, is often surprisingly naturalistic, mature, and ahead of its time, despite the farcical situations. It is not uncommon for a Sturges character to deliver an exquisitely turned phrase and take an elaborate pratfall within the same scene. A tender love scene between Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve was enlivened by a horse, which repeatedly poked its nose into Fonda's head. Prior to Sturges, other figures in Hollywood (such as Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, and Frank Capra) had directed films from their own scripts, however Sturges is often regarded as the first Hollywood figure to establish success as a screenwriter and then move into directing his own scripts, at a time when those roles were separate. Sturges famously sold the story for The Great McGinty to Paramount Pictures for $1, in return for being allowed to direct the film; the sum was quietly raised to $10 by the studio for legal reasons. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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