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

Two boilermakers.

Far away

though I may roam, dear

Fill her up?


Why don't you grab yourself off

a skirt and have yourself a time?

Why don't you...

Your beer's running over.

Home to the arms I hold dear

Home to the arms

of Mother

Safe from this world's alarms

That's where I spend

each night in my dreams

Why don't they sing

something gay?

Why don't you acquire

a gay viewpoint?

It's all mental,

every bit of it.

Smile, and the world smiles with

you. Frown, and you frown alone.

I'd just as soon be alone,

if it's just the same to you.


By that vine-colored door

As you stood in the gloaming

to welcome me home

Home to the arms

of Mother

Never again

to roam

If you could shoot craps like

you can shoot your mouth off,

you'd be the biggest breeze

shooter this side of Hong Kong.

He's the two biggest!

I was fading the guy.

How am I supposed to know the

guy's gonna pass eight times?

You was fading

the guy with our money!

Well, it was my money, too.

We're partners, ain't we?

Especially now.

Partners in the soup.

Yeah, no dough.

Nothing to do.

And five days to do it in!

If you wasn't so big, I'd take a

poke at that dumb kisser of yours.

Why don't you try it, Mac?

Save it for the Japs.

You shouldn't have faded

so many times.

You gonna start now?

Give me one last 10 spot.

I'll go back...

You had it, fancy fingers!

"Give me one last 10 spot"!

Who do you think you're

talking to? Morgenthau?

Never again

to roam

To roam

Where you going?

I got 15 cents.

I held out on you.

Will you close the door,


Yes, gentlemen?

One beer.

One beer?

One beer and no cracks.

Yes, sir.

Gonna share it or swill

it all down by yourself?

Give me

your elk's tooth.

Wait a moment. My old

man gave me... Come on!

Come here.

You the manager?

Yes, sir.

We're just a little bit

short of cash, see,

or I'd never make you

this proposition.

I was gonna save it

for the museum, see,

but when you're out on a limb, you

gotta make sacrifices, that's all.

You follow me?

I'm ahead of you.

I'm gonna let you in on the ground

floor of something very, very rare.

You remember when General

Yamatoho committed hari-kari?

Possibly. I happened to

be very close by, see?

Big man, wasn't he?


This is one of

the rarest mementos...

You wouldn't like to buy the flag

they buried him in, would you?

I could let you have it very

reasonable. I have it in several sizes.

MacArthur's suspenders!

The first bullet that landed in

Pearl Harbor. You can take your pick.

A piece of

a Japanese submarine.

If you look at it this way,

it becomes a German submarine,

and this way it is a piece of a

shell that just missed Montgomery.

Here we have

the seat of Rommel's pants,

and last but not least we have

a button from Hitler's coat,

although that one

I don't personally believe.

Wise guy.

It's all paid for.

Oh, boy!

You said it!

By you?

Not by me, it wasn't.

You don't have to

give me no credit.

The guy at

the end of the bar.

Was this from you?

Oh, that's all right.

I just happened to hear the waiter say

something about six Marines and one beer

and to serve it with

six straws or something.

He did, did he?

Where is he?

I already told him.

Anyway, that was a very

nice gesture, civilian.

Don't mention it.

You want

General Yamatoho's tooth?

No, thanks. You could

send it to your mother,

if you got one.

No, thanks.

I already sent her

some souvenirs.

Well, then here's to you.

Semper fidelis.

Semper fidelis.

You know our motto, eh?

Yeah, I know the motto.

Was you in

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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