So Proudly We Hail!
So Proudly We Hail! is a 1943 American war film directed and produced by Mark Sandrich and starring Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard – who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance – and Veronica Lake. Also featuring George Reeves, it was produced and released by Paramount Pictures.
|So Proudly We Hail!|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Sandrich|
|Produced by||Mark Sandrich|
|Written by||Allan Scott|
|Music by||Edward Heyman|
|Edited by||Ellsworth Hoagland|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$3 million (US rentals)|
The film follows a group of military nurses sent to the Philippines during the early days of World War II. The movie was based on a book written by Lieutenant Colonel Juanita Hipps, a World War II nurse – one of the "Angels of Bataan" – who served in Bataan and Corregidor during the time when McArthur withdrew to Australia which ultimately led to the surrender of US and Philippine troops to Japanese forces. Those prisoners of war were subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March. The film was also based, in part, on Hipps' memoir I Served On Bataan.
The story covers many day-to-day events and contrasts the brutality of war against the sometimes futile efforts of the nurses to provide medical aid and comfort. Each of the nurses has a past or present love story with a soldier. Flashback narration and a sequence where the nurses and injured soldiers are stranded in Malinta Tunnel pinned down by aircraft fire are two notable aspects of the film.
The movie was very timely, since the battles for Bataan and Corregidor, as well as MacArthur's dramatic escape from the Philippines, were fresh in the memories of every American. Although the love-story plot line is the primary thrust of the film, the difficulties and emotional toll of war are also shown.
The film was originally called Hands of Mercy. It was announced in July 1942 with Allan Scott to write the script and director March Sandrich.
A play about nurses on the Bataan peninsula, Cry Havoc, had been much criticised for its inaccuracies so Paramount took extra care with the film to get approval from the War Department and military and nursing advisers.
MacDonald Carey and Joel McCrea were reportedly meant to star at one stage. Paulette Goddard reportedly had the script rewritten so her role was as prominent as Colbert's. George Reeves was borrowed from producer Harry Sherman. Sonny Tufts made his debut in the movie.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
- Juanita Redmond Hipps - Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 30 July 1942: 17.
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Kober to Write Vehicle for Danny Kaye Based on Stage Play, 'Sometimes I'm Happy' FILM TO AID WAR WORK United Artists Will Make the 'Stage Door Canteen,' Profits Going to the Theatre Wing By Telephone to THE NEW YORK TIMES. 11 Aug 1942: 15.
- Fay Bainter, Spring Byington and Lionel Barrymore Join Cast of 'Human Comedy' New York Times 29 Aug 1942: 18.
- WHAT'S NEWS IN HOLLYWOOD?: Fictitious Drama About Bataan Nurses Draws Rebuke -- Other Items By THOMAS F. BRADYHOLLYWOOD. New York Times 6 Dec 1942: X3.
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: New York Times ]20 Oct 1942: 25.
- Hedda Hopper's HOLLYWOOD Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]09 Nov 1942: 23.
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 12 Nov 1942: 31.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
- "The 16th Academy Awards (1944) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2013-06-22.