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This Is the Army [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: George Murphy, Joan Leslie, George Tobias, Alan Hale, Charles Butterworth
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Writers: Casey Robinson, Claude Binyon, Irving Berlin, Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Black & White, Color, EP, NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: September 19, 1997
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303935370
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,488 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS tape.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2004
Format: DVD
Held together by a flimsy plot, this is 2 hours of sheer enjoyment, with a variety of entertainment, from show-stopping tap dance numbers, comedy skits, an acrobatic number, and even magic tricks, and the film also includes of course, two actors that were to become political figures, our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, and U.S. Senator from California (1965-71) George Murphy.

Reagan looks fantastic in this film where he plays stage manager Johnny Jones. His presence and stature, lean and broad-shouldered, is amazing, as is his warmth and charm. This, as well as "Kings Row", are my two favorite Reagan films that I've seen so far. Lt. Reagan only made his military pay for this film ($ 250.00 a month) while Murphy earned $ 28,000.00...and Irving Berlin, whose terrific score earned him an Oscar, donated his proceeds to the Army Emergency Relief Fund.

Expertly directed by Michel Curtiz, Irving Berlin's music is a delight (we get to hear him sing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning"), and the choreography by LeRoy Prinz and Robert Sidney is outstanding.

The film, which has the feel of a revue, starts out with Berlin's WWI show, "Yip ! Yip ! Yaphank", and segues into the WWII section, with the next generation performing the show (Reagan plays Murphy's son).
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
On the 4th of July in 1942, "This Is the Army" opened on Broadway with book, lyrics and music by Irving Berlin, who persuaded the War Department to let him have 300 service men to do the show and thereby raise $10 million for Army Relief. The 1943 movie version, directed by Michael Curtiz for Warner Brothers, starred a pair of future California politicians, (Senator) George Murphy and (Governor) Ronald Reagan, as the father and son of Jerry and Johnny Jones (think of it as the "Predator" of its generation). Reagan had just entered the military and was assigned to making "This Is the Army" before moving on to military training films.

Scenarists Casey Robinson and Claude Binjoy came up with a story lined that worked in material from Berlin's legendary 1917 soldier show "Yip, Yip, Yiphank." Set during World War I, Murphy plays a Broadway song and dance man who is drafted and put in charge of an army show. Murphy sings and dances to "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "My Sweetie" and "We're On Our Way to France." After the final performance the cast marches off to war, where Jerry Jones receives a leg wound. Then we jump to the start of World War II, Jerry is now a Broadway producer and son Johnny is his assistant. History repeats itself, this time with Johnny enlisting and taking time to marry his sweetheart, Eileen Dibble (Joan Leslie), before marching off to the swelling strains of "This Time We Will All Make Certain."

The film offers Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" and Berlin himself singing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning." This show also includes "This is the Army, Mr. Jones," which is probably the only other song contemporary audiences might still recognize, if you are old enough.
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Format: DVD
This Is The Army is a star studded musical with so many song and dance numbers it's amazing they squeezed in a plot! Indeed, the plot is perhaps the flimsiest of any musical plot I've ever seen. Dancer Jerry Jones (George Murphy) stages a show to boost morale after he's recruited into World War I; and after he's injured in the war he works as a theatrical producer. Jerry's song, Johnny Jones (Ronald Reagan), follows in his father's footsteps with his own involvement in World War II helping to stage shows to raise money for the war campaign during World War II.

The only other theme in the plot is Johnny Jones's refusal to marry his girlfriend until after the war ends. Will she wait for him or leave him? Watch the movie and find out!

But the real value of this movie is yet to come. The plot is merely an excuse for a parade of musical numbers that are extremely entertaining. In addition to George Murphy dancing and Ronald Reagan acting, we get a cameo by Frances Langford as she sings "What Does He Look Like." Kate Smith sings her signature song "God Bless America" with two rarely heard opening verses; and Joe Louis shows off his boxing strength during a song and dance number. Irving Berlin himself even performs; he sings "Oh How I Hate to get Up in the Morning" with George Murphy and other very talented people onstage.

The sets are not very well made although the set for the air corps musical number from the World War II show stunned me with its props. In addition, there have been a number of comments regarding how uncomfortable some people felt seeing too many numbers with men in women's clothing. The men really only wore the clothing in three or four numbers at most; and I think at the time it was all meant in good fun.
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