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So Proudly We Hail (Universal Cinema Classics)
So Proudly We Hail
Universal Cinema Classics
Actors: Claudette Colbert, Veronica Lake, Paulette Goddard
Genres: Drama, Military & War
NR     2007     2hr 6min

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Movie Details

Actors: Claudette Colbert, Veronica Lake, Paulette Goddard
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Classics, Military & War
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/22/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1943
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1943
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 6min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Stunning Tribute To War Time Nurses Everywhere
Simon Davis | 12/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""So Proudly We Hail", often comes in for more than it's fair share of criticism over it's depiction of the sterling work carried out by nurses in the South Pacific during World War Two. Mention is made of the nurses looking like they have just stepped out of the beauty parlour with makeup and hair all looking perfect. I'm always mystified by that reaction as I feel this production goes a long way towards depicting the back breaking and often extremely dangerous work that nurses carried out during the war in the Pacific. The film was made with the very best of intentions at a time when the outcome of the war was still far from certain. Criticism has also been leveled at the propaganda inherent in parts of the script. Once again one has to view this film in it's time and place and if it motivated people to feel patriotic about their country in time of war and at least partly informed the movie going public about some of the work of wartime nurses then that is a job well done in my belief."So Proudly We Hail", traces the stories of 9 nurses from the time they leave San Francisco through the trials and tribulations of their service with the armed services in the South Pacific. Three in particular are focused on, team leader Lt. Janet Davidson (Claudette Colbert), vivacious Lt. Joan O'Doul (Paulette Goddard) and inwardly tormented Lt. Olivia D'Arcy )Veronica Lake). Their stories are interwoven through the real life action of the group first being sent to Hawaii and then after a torpedo raid which sinks some of their companion vessels, being removed to the Bataan and Correigador regions where they care for and then help evacuate the military and civilian wounded. The saga ends with the remains of their party being evacuated after much loss and suffering to Australia before embarking for home at the end of their tour of duty. The women experience all the deprivations of war and personal loss along the way as Lt. Davidson falls in love with Lt. John Summers (George Reeves) only to live in daily fear of him being killed while still having a job to do as the team's main source of strength. Lt. O'Doul (Paulette Goddard) experiences similiar feelings for "Kansas" (Sonny Tufts), the gangly soldier who wins her heart and in the most tragic situation Lt. D'Arcy who confronts old demons and the loss of her fiance at the hands of the Japanese. Many frightening incidents darken the daily grind of the nurses work such as regular bombing of their medical camp by the enemy and having to experience all the pain and suffering of wartime casualties and death of loved ones. Each woman is touched in some way by her involvement in the action and emerges the better for her experience. We see the women work under not only hazardous conditions but in those that would test the sanity of the strongest person with daily shortages of supplies, shelter and food a constant feature in the daily work.The film places great emphasis on the inner strength of the individual under fire whether it be soldier, nurse or wounded civilian. In this respect the film could never be judged superficial as many real life elements of this period are tied into the story. Powerful scenes abound in "So Proudly We Hail", a standout is the scene during the evacuation of the camp when the nurses are stranded in one of the huts under fire and the real life treatment of war nurses in Nanking is mentioned as a telling reminder of the brutality of war. Lt. D'Arcy's ultimate self sacrifice for the good of the group still is a scene that packs a real punch with it's graphic depiction of a suicide killing of enemy soldiers. All three lead actresses are standouts in their own unique way. Claudette Colbert delivers yet another powerful and totally convincing performance as the leader of the group. Long associated with extremely glamourous roles here she portrays a character forced under terrible conditions to still be strong for the sake of her nurses. Paulette Goddard in an Academy Award nominated performance is excellent as the flighty mantrap with only men on her mind who develops into a responsible and dedicated nurse as her wartime experiences deepen her character. Veronica Lake also minus her o usual glamourous persona is effective in her role as the bitter nurse who is out to punish all Japanese because of the loss she has suffered. Despite the reported tension between Claudette Colbert and Paulette Goddard during filming none of that shows on screen as the main three actresses work very effectively together as the one team. One last standout in the cast is actress Mary Servoss who plays Capt. "Ma" McGregor the lead of the camp and in ultimate charge of all nursing staff. Her beautiful scene where she faces the death of her wounded son is a stunner and the emotional highlight of the whole film.Passed off as Hollywood's removed idea of what war is like, "So Proudly We Hail", offers much more than that and contrary to popular belief in a number of scenes where appropriate, the women do show what the wear and tear of war work does to the individuals. I find the film a powerful depiction of war and the terror it causes. Mixed with horrific scenes such as Lt. D'Arcy's suicide are inspiring ones like the simple Christmas celebration on the boat and the scenes showing operations being conducted right in the middle of air raids. These can't help to move the viewer and instill even in the most hardened cynic a belief in the basic good of man. A true epic is how I would describe "So Proudly We Hail", and a film I recommend to anyone who believes in the power of a person's inner strength to beat outside adversity."
Magnificent Action and Thrills
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If they are bringing THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY to DVD finally, then maybe it's time to unravel the complications surrounding this film and feature it on DVD. SO PROUDLY WE HAIL is one of the greatest of all war movies, and because it is told from a woman's point of view (so to speak, it still had a male director in the person of Mark Sandrich) it is sometimes ridiculed and derided, usually by armchair critics who should walk a mile in a nurse's shoes before daring to denigrate her bravery under fire.

Claudette Colbert plays Janet Davidson. An unusual choice for a nurse, Colbert eschews most of her usual glamor (except for the San Francisco embarkation) and really gives herself to the part. Colbert is often good when she has to play against strong women, and here Sandrich surrounds her with a gallery of independent types, the way Francois Ozon made Catherine Deneueve shine in the recent 8 1/2 WOMEN. Janet is a born leader even though she can only be photographed on one side of her face, which somewhat limits her utilitarian duty during battle scenes. Even covered with grime and jungle grease, Colbert still can turn heads, and when she meets George Reeves, the sparks ignite, hot enough to burn Corregidor down to the ground.

Veronica Lake plays up her dark side playing Lieutenant D'Arcy, a time bomb just waiting to explode. Often seen as soignee and bewitching, with that cute fringe of hair playing peekaboo with her eyes, Lake here is going for a Cornell Woolrich-style vengeance against the Japanese. If Tarantino had made KILL BILL in the 1940s Lake would have beat Uma Thurman in the role easily. She's hotter than a pistol and she's Ms. 45.

Paulette Goddard has, I think, the most challenging role and I agree with other reviewers who say this is Goddard's best part. While Colbert and Lake really just occupy the same acting space throughout the movie, Goddard's character has to change, so that viewers watch her mature from a fly by night flapper with only men on her mind, to a woman with a heart who lives to help others, not just impress them with her oomph. It's harder than it looks to walk that line, but Goddard pulls it off without a whimper. Often cast as the sexpot pure and simple, or the gold-digging mantrap she apparently was in real life, Goddard is entirely persuasive in her role, and like Lake, she's a natural at action scenes. I want her to be my nurse. Her romance with "Kansas" is kind of cute too.

All in all, an underrated movie with the kind of plot that screws in deeper and deeper, unbearably tight, like DAS BOOT, except set in the Pacific."
A Movie That Makes You "Proud"
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 04/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

""So Proudly We Hail" was made in 1943 and because I'm far too young I can only wonder what was the public's reaction to WW2 at this point in time. If Americans were starting to lose patience with the war then this movie could really lift your spirits and make you feel proud about what the men AND women were doing over seas. If people were patient with the war then it serves as a reminder for the hard work that lies ahead and how we SHOULD NOT become impatient. Either way you could say "So Proudly We Hail" is a piece of American propaganda (And I don't mean that as in insult) in the same vein as a Frank Capra film. But because of this some people may disregard it. I'm hear to write to you and tell you "So Proudly We Hail" is really a very entertaining emotion picture. What makes all the more amazing for me is to consider that Mark Sandrich directed it! I've always thought of Sandrich as a director of musicals. He directed several films with Fred Astair and Giner Rogers: "Carefree" and "Top Hat" and also films without Ginger Rogers like "Holiday Inn". He also directed two Bert Wheeler\Robert Woolsey comedies: "Hips, Hips, Hooray" and "Cockeyed Cavaliers". I never would have guessed he would have been capable of directing a movie with the scope of this one.

"So Proudly We Hail" is based on a true story about eight nurses and their contribution to the war. The has an incredible cast including Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard (Both giving perhaps their best performances) and Veronica Lake (Also doing amazing work).

At times the movie made me think of "Mrs. Miniver" and "Since You Went Away" (Also with Colbert). It's one of those great wartime movies. I strongly recommend if anyone gets the chance to see this movie they take advantage of it. It's well worth your time.

Bottom-line: One of the great WW2 movies comparable to "Mrs. Miniver" and "Since You Went Away". Has great battle scenes and some very moving performances. I don't think I've ever seen Colbert and Goddard better."
Alex Udvary | 04/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If there had been a 6-7 star rating for the picture, I would've given it 6-7 stars. Excellent writers, Good direction, + an excellent cast made for an excellent wartime drama."