Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Alexis Smith, Andrea King, Alan Hale, Kitty Carlisle, Eleanor Parker
Director: Delmer Daves
The Hollywood Canteen was a club for GIs where Joan Crawford might over- easy you some eggs and John Garfield might scrub out the frying pan. The movie Hollywood Canteen is a snappy, starry salute to that World War II land... more »
Dreadful wartime musical in extensive package
Douglas M | 12/31/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"During the 2nd World War, Bette Davis and John Garfield formed the Hollywood Canteen, a site where servicemen could meet and be entertained by Hollywood stars. It was a mammoth undertaking and a natural for Warner Brothers with which to build a war time musical. Unfortunately, they saddled the "review" with a really poor screenplay whereby a lonely soldier realises his wish to meet Joan Leslie. Originally, the role was to be played by Ann Sheridan but she went on suspension rather than play such an inane role. The implication that a visit to the Canteen might result in a romance with a film star was an insult, in Sheridan's view, to the armed forces.
Having said that, the film has a few good guest entertainers such as Jack Benny, Kitty Carlisle and Carmen Cavallaro, but most, such as Joe E Brown, Dennis Morgan and the dreadful Andrew Sisters, who look and sound awful, are poor. Davis and Garfield deliver their patriotic lines with a modicum of dignity but in general, this is Hollywood at its most sanctimonious and condescending.
The print of the film is excellent and there is a generous list of extras as per the Warners Night at the Movies. All are based around propaganda and the war effort so they can only be viewed in that context otherwise many are unwatchable.
The DVD is available as part of the Warners Brothers Homefront Collection. The film is the dud of that set."