Friday, September 19, 2003


A WWII propaganda film without much propaganda. In fact, it's barely a war movie at all--it's really a story of female bonding in the military that doesn't bother to make much of use its wartime background, perhaps because it came out fairly late in the war (spring of '45). Lana Turner is a rich playgirl who is in danger of losing her inheritance because of her decadent ways, so she joins the Womens Army Corps to prove her mettle, then plans on skipping out on her military obligation as soon as she gets the money. Laraine Day is the gung-ho daughter of a general (Henry O'Neill). Susan Peters is the quiet, seemingly more vulnerable one whose husband is at the front. The three bond, then fight, then bond, etc. Turner and Day spend most of the movie at each other's throats and Peters keeps trying to be loyal to both of them. The playgirl winds up finding that being a WAC is inspiring and gets serious about officer training, but Day isn't convinced that she's got the right stuff, leading to complications that affect all three of them. Agnes Moorehead has a small but important role as an officer who has to step in at a crucial point. There's an interesting supporting cast including June Lockhart, Lee Patrick, and Natalie Schafer (Mrs. Howell from "Gilligan's Island"). Naturally, Turner's high society pals are portrayed as unpatriotic, drunken fops. An amusing line, from Day to Turner: "I'll slap you right across that smirk that you call a smile!" Worth seeing mostly for Turner and Day.

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