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Rally 'round The Flag, Boys! 1958 NR CC

All about the citizens of Putnam's landing and their reactions to an army missile base in their back yard.

Starring:
Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Leo McCarey
Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward
Supporting actors Joan Collins, Jack Carson, Dwayne Hickman, Tuesday Weld, Gale Gordon, Tom Gilson, O.Z. Whitehead, Robert Banas, Brandon Beach, William 'Billy' Benedict, Robert Bohannon, Tap Canutt, Alan Carney, Richard Collier, Richard H. Cutting, Franklyn Farnum, Bess Flowers, Ike Gibson
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is something of an odd set: three comedies about love triangles ... and O. Henry's Full House. The films do all share a connection to literature, however, and they all deliver in the entertainment department. Each film is pressed on a separate disc and includes many special features. Great set for anyone looking to build a classic film library.

Move Over, Darling (1963/Color/103 minutes/Widescreen)

Doris Day, James Garner and Polly Bergen star in this screwball comedy about a woman who comes back from the dead on the very day that her husband remarries. Special features include a featurette on the film's well-documented production ordeals, a featurette on the careers of Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe (who was originally cast in the film), an interview with Polly Bergen, the second (and only surviving) part of the silent film based on the poem that inspired the story, Enoch Arden, a restoration comparison, several original trailers, a photo gallery and trailers for other Doris Day films.

O. Henry's Full House (1952/B&W/118 minutes/Fullscreen)

This memorable movie features five short films based on the works of seminal American author O. Henry, each one introduced by the great John Steinbeck. The film is loaded with a cast of Fox's biggest contract stars, such as Marilyn Monroe, Charles Laughton, Jeanne Crain, Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Anne Baxter, Fred Allen and more, while a different director from Fox's great stable helms each segment. Special features include two silent films based on other O. Henry works, a commentary track, a documentary on the life and writings of O. Henry, a featurette on the O. Henry museum, the original exhibitor's campaign book, a still gallery and a restoration comparison.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although I consider myself a huge fan of classic movies, I only recently became aware of this film while reading Dwayne Hickman's autobiography. In fact, it was the presence of Hickman and his "Dobie Gillis" co-star Tuesday Weld, plus the fact that the story was written by Dobie creator Max Shulman, that led me to give this one a try. Of course, seeing Paul Newman and Joan Collins in their prime isn't a bad thing, either.

"Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys" is somewhat atypical for a farce comedy of the fifties. This was 1958, and attitudes and censorship about overt sexuality on the screen were become more relaxed. Just take a look at the film's poster, reproduced for the DVD cover. The film not only gives us Joan Collins in a bathtub, but in various states of undress throughout the film. And then there's Tuesday Weld's teenage character announcing to her exasperated dad, "Guess what? I've discovered boys!" Although certainly tame by today's standards, this is probably among the first "sex comedies."

And although I did enjoy the film, I do feel there are two drawbacks: First of all, considering it came from the pen of Max Shulman, it could have been funnier. Oh sure, there are a handful of great comic scenes, and the cast is generally capable of delivering the few laughs they are given to hand out. Second, as I said upfront, it was Dwayne Hickman who brought me here. And sadly, he is really miscast as the motorcyle-riding love interest for Ms Weld. I'm not sure what kind of accent he was going for, but it just doesn't work.

The DVD, however, is first-rate. The picture is HD-quality, with vivid colors and sharpness rarely seen on films of this vintage. I haven't played the audio commentary track yet, so I can't comment on that. But if you have any interest in the film at all, you won't be disappointed with the presentation.
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Format: DVD
Playing his first comedy in "Rally, 'Round the Flag, Boys!" Newman was in the expert hands of Leo McCarey, who had directed Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers...

The Newmans are hard1y in that class, and the film is one of McCarey's lesser efforts, but it's often a refreshing reminder of thirties screwball farce as well as a frequently incisive satire on suburban life...

Newman is a typical Connecticut commuter with a good job in Manhattan, whose wife (Woodward) spends all her time in community affairs, leaving him frustrated, and whose two sons are so hypnotized by television they hard1y notice him--so he escapes with alcohol and daydreams...

When the Army schedules a top secret base for their town, the couple are on opposing sides: she heads the protest committee; he, a reserve officer, is "drafted" as public relations man to win over the town... Their marriage really goes downhill when she catches him in a compromising (but innocent) situation with a sexy neighbor (Joan Collins).

Newman is often charming, but generally, in a role Jack Lemmon would have walked through, he overacts outrageously, trying so hard to be funny...

Truly, some of the gags situations are forced, as when the drunken Newman and Collins dance the Cha Cha, swing on chandeliers, and fall down stairs; or when Newman is caught, literally with his pants down, turning away the predatory Collins and trying to explain to the outraged Woodward... But even Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have made something of these scenes... The Newmans are reduced to grimacing, exaggerated gestures and extreme over-reactions...
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