Red Salute (1935 film)

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Red Salute
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySidney Lanfield
Screenplay by
Story byHumphrey Pearson
Produced byEdward Small
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byGrant Whytock
Music byAlfred Newman (uncredited)
Reliance Pictures
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • September 12, 1935 (1935-09-12) (USA)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

Red Salute (also released as Arms and the Girl) is a 1935 American comedy film directed by Sidney Lanfield and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Young. Based on a story by Humphrey Pearson, the film is about the daughter of a US Army general who becomes involved with a suspected communist agitator.


Drue Van Allen, the daughter of an American general, is in love with communist graduate student Leonard Arner. When Leonard is ejected from a college campus for speaking to the students, a newspaper photographer takes a picture of him in Drue's car and prints it on the front page. When Drue ignores her father’s advice, he tricks her into boarding an airplane bound for Mexico, supposedly to see her aunt Betty off, then locks her in.

She is stuck in Juarez with no money to get home. After a rowdy soldier, Jeff overhears a border policeman warn her not to try to cross into the US, Jeff, whom she nicknames "Uncle Sam", strikes up a conversation, telling her he thinks she should be shot. Despite their disdain for each other, they run up a large bar bill, but neither has any money. They skip out and drive away; then Drue tells him he has stolen a government car. When they reach a border crossing, Jeff tries to stop, but Drue presses the gas pedal and they speed into Texas. They manage to evade their pursuers, but crash into a tree.

They later kidnap P. J. Rooney, an easy-going, henpecked husband, to ride in his homemade trailer. He is glad to get away from his wife, Edith. They eventually con Baldy, a caretaker, into believing they are friends of his employer, Colonel Turner, and letting them stay in Turner's house. After Jeff and Drue dance, he tells her he now loves her; after thinking it over, she kisses him before they turn in for the night, in separate rooms. She later sneaks out and tries to drive away, but the authorities show up and arrest them both.

General Van Allen gets Drue out of jail. He is worried about a newspaper story reporting that Drue and Leonard are going to get married and also about information he received from an immigration official that Leonard is not a citizen, but rather a suspected "paid propagandist" in the country on a student visa. When the general realizes that Drue has feelings for Jeff, he sends for Jeff. After speaking to him informally, the general sends him down to a meeting at which Leonard is supposed to speak. Jeff pretends to have changed his opinion to get Arner to let him talk to the audience. He starts out agreeing with Leonard's position, then shows people what he really stands for. A riot breaks out, and Arner is taken into custody for deportation.

Drue realizes she is in love with Jeff. They get married and honeymoon in P.J.'s trailer.



The original working title of the film was Her Uncle Sam. The film was made to cash in on the rise of radicalism in US colleges in the 1930s.[1] Filming started in June 1935.[2] The film features the song "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now", sung by Edwards.

It was one of the first anti-communist movies made in the US. This saw it re-released in 1948 with the rise in anti-communist feeling.[3][4]

The film is also known by its reissue title Her Enlisted Man.

Critical response[edit]

Writing for The Spectator in 1935, Graham Greene praised the film, describing it as "one of the best comedies of the screen since It Happened One Night", and characterizing the acting of Stanwyck and Young as "admirable performances".[5]


  1. ^ "Cinema Producer Advocates Elimination of "B" Films". Los Angeles Times. September 17, 1935.
  2. ^ "Screen Notes". The New York Times. June 18, 1935.
  3. ^ Edwin Schallert (December 18, 1947). "Drama and Film: Bromfield Kin Clicks; Hit Novels on Agenda". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Thomas F. Brady (December 19, 1947). "Crosby in Picture With Fitzgerald: Paramount Again Links Pair in 'Diamond in Haystack,' New Story by Beloin". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Greene, Graham (November 22, 1935). "Arms and the Girl/Accent on Youth". The Spectator. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0192812866.)

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