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Hollywood Canteen
1944 Jump to Synopsis and Details
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Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, who he has been dreaming about while in the Pacific. He meets her later at the Farmer's Market. On the third night, Slim is the millionth man into the Canteen, earning him a date with Joan. Slim thinks he's been duped when she doesn't show up at his train. Slim's buddy Sergant dances with Joan Crawford. Canteen President Bette Davis praises the canteen and the war effort. Virtually everyone Warners could spare entertains. Written by Ed Stephan

Review from NY Times

By Bosley Crowther
Published: December 16, 1944

If it's quantity you want in entertainment — entertainment, that is, of the sort that is generally thrown together in an "all-star benefit show"—then the Warners' grotesquely laden "Hollywood Canteen" is for you. As a matter of fact, you'll probably love it if you're frankly susceptible to "names." For this two-hour-and-four-minute catch-all, which came to the Strand yesterday, gives out with short snatches of diversion (and some not so short) by virtually every player on the Warner lot.

It has every sort of thing, from Eddie Cantor and Nora Martin singing the so-called "Baby Song" to Joseph Szigeti and Jack Benny doing a violin travesty of "Souvenir." It also has Roy Rogers, borrowed from Republic, singing "Don't Fence Me In," and the Andrews Sisters, borrowed from Universal, singing "Gettin' Corns for My Country," a fitting song.

But if it's quality you want in your entertainment and just a slight touch of dramatic grace, beware the elaborate hocus-pocus of "Hollywood Canteen." There is not a fairly distinguished song or turn of dialogue in the show, and the story which binds the "acts" together is an embarrassingly affected affair. It is the story of a South Pacific veteran who goes to the Hollywood Canteen, that famous caravansari for service men, and meets his dream girl, Joan Leslie. It's a recount of his speechless admiration every time he sees a famous movie star and of his almost unbearable exuberance when Miss Leslie actually bends to his romance.

To be perfectly blunt about it, this film seems a most distasteful show of Hollywood's sense of its importance and what its people are doing for "the boys." Throughout it plainly points benignly to the wonder of "big shots" entertaining little ones and it stretches propriety to the limit in demonstrating how human the stars are. There is no question that the Hollywood Canteen has been a most welcome haven to service men and that it has done a lot to help them. But this advertisement seems a most ungracious boast.

Comparison of this film with "Stage Door Canteen," a previous star show, is inevitable, since both of them follow the same pattern—and were, in fact, both written by the same man. It is notable that the former was much more modest in its account of show folk devoting themselves to service men and much more realistic in its development of a romance. It is also much more distinguished in the quality of the entertainment put out.

In the present film, Miss Leslie plays herself with elaborate sweetness and Robert Hutton plays her soldier-courtier in the manner of a musical comedy juvenile. Dane Clark is broad and obvious as an ungrammatical sergeant from — yes, Brooklyn—and thirty or forty other people play themselves (see cast above).

In a more or less introductory comment, Joe E. Brown describes Hollywood Canteen: "This place is just a great big juke box." So is the film. It is that full of stuff.


Laverne Andrews as Herself (as The Andrews Sisters)

Maxene Andrews as Herself (as The Andrews Sisters)

Patty Andrews as Herself (as The Andrews Sisters)

Jack Benny as Himself

Joe E. Brown as Himself

Eddie Cantor as Himself

Kitty Carlisle as Herself

Jack Carson as Himself

Dane Clark as Sgt. Nowland

Joan Crawford as Herself

Helmut Dantine as Himself

Bette Davis as Herself

Faye Emerson as Herself

Victor Francen as Himself

John Garfield as Himself

Sydney Greenstreet as Himself

Alan Hale as Himself

Paul Henreid as Himself

Robert Hutton as Cpl. Ed 'Slim' Green

Andrea King as Herself

Peter Lorre as Himself

Ida Lupino as Herself

Irene Manning as Herself

Nora Martin as Herself

Joan McCracken as Herself

Dolores Moran as Herself

Dennis Morgan as Himself

Janis Paige as Angela

Eleanor Parker as Herself

William Prince as Himself

Joyce Reynolds as Herself

John Ridgely as Himself

Roy Rogers as Himself (as Roy Rogers and Trigger)

Trigger as Himself

S.Z. Sakall as Himself

Zachary Scott as Himself

Alexis Smith as Herself

Barbara Stanwyck as Herself

Craig Stevens as Himself

Joseph Szigeti as Himself

Donald Woods as Himself

Jane Wyman as Herself

Jimmy Dorsey as Himself

Carmen Cavallaro as Himself

Rosario as Spanish Gypsy dancer (as Rosario and Antonio)

Antonio as Spanish Gypsy dancer (as Rosario and Antonio)

Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra as Themselves

Joan Leslie as Herself

Sons of the Pioneers as Themselves, Musicians

The Golden Gate Quartette as Themselves

William Alcorn as Dancer

Betty Alexander as Herself - Junior Hostess

Lynn Baggett as Herself, Lynn Baggett - Junior Hostess

Diana Barrymore as Herself, Diana Barrymore - Junior Hostess

Julie Bishop as Herself, Julie Bishop - Junior Hostess

Betty Brodel as Herself, Betty Brodel - Joan's sister

Paul Brooks as Himself, Paul Brooks - Busboy

Barbara Brown as Mrs. Brodel

Betty Bryson as Dancer

Dwight Butcher as Soldier getting married

Jack Coffey as Dancer

John Dehner as Norwegian sailor

Ralph Dunn as Studio gate guard

Richard Erdman as Soldier on deck

James Flavin as 500-ton Marine sergeant

Bess Flowers as Herself, Bess Flowers - kitchen helper

Rudolf Friml Jr. as Himself, Rudolf Friml Jr. - orchestra leader

Ceferino García as Soldier

Hayes Gordon as Extra

Mary Gordon as Herself, Mary Gordon - Dishwasher

Angela Greene as Herself, Angela Greene - Junior Hostess

Jonathan Hale as Mr. Brodel

Bill Kennedy as Himself, Bill Kennedy - Busboy

Dorothy Malone as Herself, Dorothy Malone - Junior Hostess

Eddie Marr as Dance director

Charles Marsh as Diner without spoon

Jack Mattis as Dancer

Chef Milani as Himself

Johnny Mitchell as Himself, Johnny Mitchell - Busboy

Jack Mower as Juice-Stand Proprietor

Bob Nolan as Himself

Marianne O'Brien as Herself, Marianne O'Brien - Junior Hostess

Virginia Patton as Herself, Virginia Patton - Junior Hostess

LeRoy Prinz as Himself

Larry Rio as Salior kissed by Eddie Cantor

Robert Shayne as Himself, Robert Shayne - Busboy

John Sheridan as Himself, John Sheridan - Busboy

Charles Sherlock as Photographer

Freddie Steele as South American Sailor

Mark Stevens as Soldier on deck

Charles Sullivan as Car delivery man

Ray Teal as Captain

William Terry as Marine, number 999,999 in line

Colleen Townsend as Herself, Colleen Townsend - Junior Hostess

George Turner as Tough Marine

Willard Van Simmons as Dancer

Theodore von Eltz as Director

Jack Wise as Himself, Jack Wise - Busboy

Alfred Ybarra as Himself, Alfred Ybarra - Set Designer at Desk


Directed by
Delmer Daves
Writing credits
Delmer Daves - writer

Produced by
Alex Gottlieb - producer
Jack L. Warner - executive producer

Original Music by
M.K. Jerome

Cinematography by
Bert Glennon

Film Editing by
Christian Nyby

Art Direction by
Leo K. Kuter

Set Decoration by
Casey Roberts

Costume Design by
Milo Anderson

Makeup Department
Perc Westmore - makeup artist

Production Management
Chuck Hansen - unit manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Lueker - assistant director

Sound Department
Charles David Forrest - sound recordist
Oliver S. Garretson - sound recordist

Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein - orchestrator
Ray Heindorf - music adaptor
Heinz Roemheld - composer: incidental music
Sally Sweetland - singing voice: Joan Leslie

Other crew
LeRoy Prinz - choreographer

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