So Proudly We Hail!


Drama / Romance / War

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 1778

Plot summary

October 10, 2022 at 09:54 AM


Mark Sandrich

Top cast

Yvonne De Carlo as Girl
Claudette Colbert as Lt. Janet 'Davy' Davidson
Hank Worden as Soldier on Troop Ship
George Reeves as Lt. John Summers
1.12 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 5 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 8 / 10

Excellent film chronicling the nurses on Bataan

Claudette Colbert heads up a team of army nurses caring for the wounded and dying in "So Proudly We Hail!" It's a great ensemble of fine actresses, including Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake, Barbara Britton and others. This is the women's story, not often told, but certainly harrowing and inspiring. These nurses are in the Phillipines when MacArthur pulls out and they become stranded on Corregidor.

The film is told in flashbacks, when the women are actually on their way home by ship, and Colbert, who plays "Davy" (Janet Davidson) is catatonic. The ship's doctor is trying to figure out how to help her and asks the women to tell their story. It's a rough one, filled with bombings, filth, malaria, little food, exhaustion, and dying.

When "So Proudly We Hail!" was released, no one knew how the war would end as we do now, and the fall of the Philippines was seen as a major defeat for the U.S. I suspect that although the impact of seeing it today is very strong, it must have been a lot stronger for wartime audiences.

As mentioned, it was wartime, so Hollywood didn't have a lot of men to choose from. George Reeves - today himself the subject of a film - plays Davy's love interest, John, and he's not only hunky but excellent. I couldn't figure out if he had a good speaking voice or I was just so used to hearing it after growing up with "Superman." But he's very effective, and it's sad that after serving in the war, he couldn't get his career back on track. Unfortunately, that happened to many actors who were just getting a foothold when war broke out.

The other actor is the often maligned Sonny Tufts, a big, good looking blond who wasn't much of an actor, but he doesn't detract from the film either. He was probably more suited to this role than he was to others later on.

But this is a women's movie all the way. At 40, Colbert was probably a little old for the role. However, she does a good job as a tough but motherly woman, protective of her nurses and quite the rule-breaker herself after she meets John. Veronica Lake gives what is perhaps her best performance as the angry Olivia. The supporting Oscar nomination should have gone to her - it's a showy role, and she does a fantastic job. Paulette Goddard did receive the nomination. She's a flirty, sexy man magnet and extremely likable. I've always thought in real life, with all that charm and charisma, she must have had to beat men off with a stick.

"So Proudly We Hail!" gives as realistic a depiction of the conditions of war and the tremendous work of the nurses who served. It covers the same material as the excellent "Cry Havoc!" - also about nurses on Bataan. I highly recommend both films.

As a bit of trivia, there were nurses who did not get out of Corregidor and were captured. They worked in the prison hospitals and had to endure terrible conditions, but surprisingly, they did survive -a tribute to their incredible inner strength and devotion to the wounded.

Reviewed by tavm 9 / 10

So Proudly We Hail! is a compelling tribute to the nurses of World War II

Since both of my Philippine parents were born while World War II was on and my mom eventually became a nurse, I've long wanted to watch this war drama about American nurses as they struggled to keep their sanity during that conflict. Before I go to the leading ladies, I have to mention that one of the first people we see on screen is one Mary Treen, a player from my favorite film-It's a Wonderful Life, who is another of the medical staff who provides some of the narration of the first half. She's just as compelling as many of the rest of the supporting cast which includes Sonny Tufts as a goofy soldier who falls for Paulette Goddard, and George Reeves as an Army man who takes a shine to Claudette Colbert. It's largely Colbert and Goddard who provide the spirit and occasional heartbreak of the film as we watch them both praise and whine about how the war is going. But the one genuine surprise here is Veronica Lake, usually a glamor girl in her roles, who becomes sullen here because of a tragedy involving Pearl Harbor. So on that note, So Proudly We Hail! comes highly recommended.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

The Nurses Of Bataan

So Proudly We Hail was Paramount Pictures tribute to the nurses who were tending the casualties at Bataan. The film got four Oscar nominations and great roles for some of Paramout's female stars like Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, and Veronica Lake, all playing nurses and also joined by Barbara Britton, Mary Treen, Dorothy Adams, Ann Doran and so many others.

Claudette is in charge of this group which sets out from San Francisco for assignment at Pearl Harbor. But the Japanese attack diverts the ship for the Phillipines where the nurses are rushed into tending the casualties on Bataan and Corregidor.

Having gone to the Phillipines as a tourist and having seen both places I thought Paramount did a remarkable job in re-creating both areas. The battle and evacuation scenes were very well done, one of the nominations that So Proudly We Hail got was for Special Effects.

Colbert gets herself involved with George Reeves and this was probably his best big screen performance. What an incredible tragedy that he went in the service and could not get his career momentum back as so many others did. Of course we all know he went on to be television's Superman and the tragedy that came out of that.

The military's no fraternization policy got a second wink when Goddard gets herself involved with Sonny Tufts in the film that got him his first notice. He plays a former football star from Kansas and appropriately named same in the film with a kind of goofball charm that was his trademark. Now wartime audiences either didn't notice or didn't care, but his New England accent stood out all over for a guy who was supposed to be from Kansas. Tufts was from the old New England WASP family that among other things endowed Tufts University. Why didn't they just call him Boston for the film?

The other Oscar nominations that So Proudly We Hail got was for Best Supporting Actress for Paulette Goddard, for Screenplay, and for Original Story. The film has held up remarkably well over the past several generations and it's a great tribute still to our army nurses in any war.

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