Hollywood Canteen (film)
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||Delmer Daves|
|Produced by||Alex Gottlieb|
|Written by||Delmer Daves|
|Music by||Musical Director:
Leo F. Forbstein
|Edited by||Christian Nyby|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||124 minutes|
|Box office||$4.2 million (US/ Canada rentals)|
Hollywood Canteen is a 1944 American musical romantic comedy film starring Joan Leslie, Robert Hutton, and Dane Clark and distributed by Warner Bros. The film was written and directed by Delmer Daves, and is notable for featuring many stars (appearing as themselves) in cameo roles. The film received three Academy Award nominations.
Plot and cast
Two soldiers on leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before returning to active duty in the South Pacific. Slim Green (Robert Hutton) is the millionth G.I. to enjoy the Canteen, and consequently wins a date with Joan Leslie. The other G.I., Sergeant Nolan (Dane Clark) gets to dance with Joan Crawford. Canteen founders Bette Davis and John Garfield give talks on the history of the Canteen. The soldiers enjoy a variety of musical numbers performed by a host of Hollywood stars, and also comedians, such as Jack Benny and his violin.
The film's setting is the Hollywood Canteen, a free entertainment club open to servicemen. The Canteen was created as a G.I. morale-booster by movie stars Bette Davis and John Garfield during World War II. Many of those cameoing in the film had previously volunteered to work there or provide entertainment. They include: The Andrews Sisters, Jack Benny, Joe E. Brown, Eddie Cantor, Kitty Carlisle, Jack Carson, Joan Crawford, Faye Emerson, Sydney Greenstreet, Alan Hale, Sr., Paul Henreid, Joan Leslie, Peter Lorre, Ida Lupino, Dorothy Malone, Dennis Morgan, Janis Paige, Eleanor Parker, Roy Rogers (with Trigger), S.Z. Sakall, Zachary Scott, Alexis Smith, Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Wyman, Jimmy Dorsey and The Golden Gate Quartet.
The East Coast counterpart was the "Stage Door Canteen" also celebrated in an RKO film.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Variety noted, "There isn't a marquee big enough to hold all the names in this one, so how can it miss? Besides, it's basically solid. It has story, cohesion, and heart." Kate Cameron of the Daily News commented, "It is an elaborate show, but it is presented by author-director Delmar Daves in such a patronizing manner as to make one blush for its complete lack of reserve in singing the praises of Hollywood."
Despite some negatives reviews, Hollywood Canteen was well received by audiences and the film became the fourth highest grossing film of 1944. Warner Bros. donated 40% of ticket sales to the real Hollywood Canteen.
Awards and nominations
Hollywood Canteen received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song: "Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart", by M. K. Jerome and Ted Koehler; Scoring of a Musical Picture: Ray Heindorf; and Sound Recording: Nathan Levinson.
- This Is the Army
- Star Spangled Rhythm
- Private Buckaroo
- Follow the Boys
- Stage Door Canteen
- Thank Your Lucky Stars
- Thousands Cheer
- "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
- Nimmo, Harry (2004). The Andrews Sisters: A Biography and Career Record. McFarland. p. 194. ISBN 0-786-41731-5.
- Quick, Lawrence J. (1970). The Films of Joan Crawford. p. 155.
- AFI Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Volume 1. University of California Press. 1971. p. 1070. ISBN 0-520-21521-4.
- "The 17th Academy Awards (1945) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Hollywood Canteen at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Hollywood Canteen at the TCM Movie Database
- Hollywood Canteen at AllMovie
- Hollywood Canteen at the Internet Movie Database