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This is the Army


Dancer Jerry Jones (George Murphy) is wounded in World War I and finding his showbiz options limited becomes a producer. 25 years later, he puts on an all-soldier revue jampacked with Irving Berlin songs. Includes Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" and a brief appearance by boxing legend Joe Louis.

This Is the Army is a 1943 American wartime musical film comedy film produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner, and directed by Michael Curtiz, adapted from a wartime stage musical with the same name, designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II, directed by Ezra Stone. The screenplay by Casey Robinson and Claude Binyon was based on the 1942 Broadway theatre musical theatre by Irving Berlin, who also composed the film's 19 songs and broke screen protocol by singing one of them. The movie features a large ensemble cast, including George Murphy, Joan Leslie, Alan Hale, Sr., Rosemary DeCamp, and Ronald Reagan, while both the stage play and film included soldiers of the United States Army who were actors and performers in civilian life.


The storyline was added for the film; the stage version was simply a plotless revue. In World War I, the musical Yip Yip Yaphank is a rousing success. During the show, it is learned that the troop has received its orders to ship off to France, and thus the end number is changed so that the soldiers march through the theater with their rifles and gear and out into the waiting convoy of trucks. Jones kisses his new bride on the way down the aisle.
In the war, several of the soldiers in the production are killed. Jerry Jones is wounded in France, by shrapnel during a German artillery barrage. He loses the full use of one of his legs, ending his career as a dancer and must walk with a cane. Nevertheless he is resolved to find something useful to do. Sgt. McGee and Pvt. Eddie Dibble, the bugler, also survive.
Twenty-five years later, with World War II raging in Europe, Jones' son Johnny enlists in the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor is attacked. He tells his sweetheart that they cannot marry until he returns, since he doesn't want to make her a widow. He grudgingly accepts the order to stage another musical, just as his father did. The show goes on tour around the United States and eventually plays in front of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Jack Young (actor)) in Washington, D.C.. During the show, it is announced that the Washington, D.C. performance will be the last night, and that afterwards the soldiers in the production will be ordered back to their combat units.
Johnny's erstwhile fiancée, who has since joined the Red Cross auxiliary, appears at the show. During a break in the show, she brings a Religious minister and convinces them that they should marry - which they do, in the alley behind the theater, with their fathers as witnesses.


  • George Murphy as Jerry Jones
  • Joan Leslie as Eileen Dibble
  • George Tobias as Maxie Twardofsky
  • Alan Hale, Sr. as Sgt. McGee
  • Charles Butterworth (actor) as Eddie Dibble
  • Dolores Costello as Mrs. Davidson
  • Una Merkel as Rose Dibble
  • Stanley Ridges as Maj. John B. Davidson
  • Rosemary DeCamp as Ethel Jones
  • Ruth Donnelly as Mrs. O'Brien
  • Dorothy Peterson as Mrs. Nelson
  • Gertrude Niesen as WWI Vocalist
  • Ronald Reagan as Cpl. Johnny Jones
As Themselves:
  • Irving Berlin
  • Frances Langford
  • Joe Louis
  • Kate Smith
  • Ezra Stone

Broadway musical

In May 1941, ex-Sergeant Irving Berlin was on tour at Camp Upton, his old Army base in Yaphank, New York during World War I. There he spoke with the commanding officers, including Doc Rankin of Special Services, about restaging his original 1917 Army play, Yip Yip Yaphank.</> the only spoken/sung scene that includes African-Americans. Louis also appears in two other scenes, one in a boxing match, and the second being the stage door canteen number (he did not speak in either scene).
One of the film's highlights is Irving Berlin himself singing his song "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning", a scene borrowed from Yip! Yip! Yaphank!.
The celebrity impersonation "hamburger" sequence includes accurate spoofs of Broadway stars Jane Cowl, Lynn Fontanne, Alfred Lunt and Ethel Barrymore, and film stars Charles Boyer and Herbert Marshall.
The revue pieces also include acrobatics routines, several comedy pieces, including one with Hale in drag, a minstrel show sketch (often removed from consumer videos and television broadcasts), and tributes to the United States Navy and the United States Army Air Corps.
Although the core of the movie consists of the musical numbers, the movie also contains a veneer of a plot involving the wartime love interests of both the father and the son.


File:ThisIsTheArmy Earle.jpg
The movie premiered at the Warner Theatre (Washington, D.C.) on August 12, 1943.
It grossed $9,555,586.44, which was donated to Army Emergency Relief.</> The film was also nominated in the category Academy Award for Best Sound (Nathan Levinson).< name="Oscars1944"></>

See also

  • Ronald Reagan filmography

  • Category:1943 films
    Category:1940s comedy films
    Category:American films
    Category:American comedy films
    Category:Warner Bros. films
    Category:World War II films made in wartime
    Category:Western Front films (World War I)
    Category:Pearl Harbor films
    Category:Films directed by Michael Curtiz
    Category:Films that won the Best Original Score Academy Award
    Category:Films based on musicals
    Hal Wallis

    More Public Domain Movies