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|
|Box office||$4.2 million (US/ Canada rentals) or $5,452,000|
Hollywood Canteen is a 1944 American musical romantic comedy film starring Joan Leslie, Robert Hutton, and Dane Clark and produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The film was written and directed by Delmer Daves, and features many stars (appearing as themselves) in cameo roles. The film received three Academy Award nominations.
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, and Jimmy Dorsey.
The Golden Gate Quartet, an all-black quartet, make a unique appearance. They had appeared at President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Third Inaugural—and the White House--"firsts" for black performers—as well as in period movies.
- "Hollywood Canteen" - Sung by The Andrews Sisters behind titles.
- "What Are You Doin' the Rest of Your Life" by Ted Koehler and Burton Lane - Sung and Danced by Jack Carson and Jane Wyman with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra.
- "The General Jumped at Dawn" - Sung by Golden Gate Quartet.
- "We're Having a Baby" by Vernon Duke and Harold Adamson - Sung by Eddie Cantor and Nora Martin with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra.
- "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds" - Sung by Sons of the Pioneers.
- "Don't Fence Me In (song)" by Cole Porter - Sung by Roy Rogers with Sons of the Pioneers.
- "Gettin' Corns For My Country" - Sung by The Andrews Sisters with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchetra.
- "Don't Fence Me In" (reprise) - Sung by The Andrews Sisters with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra.
- "You Can Always Tell a Yank" by Yip Harburg and Burton Lane - Sung by Dennis Morgan and Chorus with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, then sung by Joe E. Brown with Chorus.
- "Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart" - Sung by Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland) and Chorus.
- "Ballet in Jive" - Danced by Joan McCracken and Chorus.
- "The Bee" - Played by Joseph Szigeti.
- "The Souvenir" - Played by Joseph Szigeti and Jack Benny.
- "Voodoo Moon" - Played by Carmen Cavallaro and His Orchestra.
- "Dance" - Danced by Antonio and Rosario.
- "Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart" (reprise) - Sung by Kitty Carlisle.
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 negative 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.
According to Warner Bros records the film was the studio's most popular release of the year. It earned $3,831,000 domestically and $1,621,000 foreign.
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.
- List of American films of 1944
- This Is the Army
- Star Spangled Rhythm
- Private Buckaroo
- Follow the Boys
- Stage Door Canteen
- Thank Your Lucky Stars
- Thousands Cheer
- Cowboy Canteen
- Show Business at War
- Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 25 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
- "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
- "Hollywood Canteen". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- 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.